Our Biology Degree Program

Undergraduate Program

Next Start Date: 
August 2023 (All Programs)

As a student in one of the largest programs on campus you will be challenged to perform in both the classroom and laboratory as we prepare you for a career in biology or a scientific pre-professional program. Advanced biology students are encouraged to explore various career paths through internships and science seminars all taught by full-time faculty with terminal degrees.


Advisors will direct you towards minors and engaged learning experiences that will strengthen your candidacy for graduate or professional programs or employment in STEM related industry.

  • Pre-Med Track
  • Pre-Physician’s Assistant Track
  • Pre-Pharmacy Track
  • Pre-Veterinary Medicine Track
  • Pre-Physical Therapy Track
  • Pre-Occupational Therapy Track


Our biology faculty maintain active research programs of their own and encourage students to apply for grants, conduct independent mentored research, and present their findings at state and regional meetings.

  • Dr. Vida Mingo is part of the Genomics Education Partnership and uses bioinformatics to help create a national database of genetic sequences
  • Dr. Kirt Moody uses macroinvertebrates to examine ecological relationships and monitor environmental factors
  • Dr. Marlee Marsh is interested in how environmental pressures impact the immune systems of fish, a common biomedical model, as well as basic biological research examining systems as diverse as spider webs to tomato fungi to fisheries forensics

Program Awards

  • Two recent biology majors received awards for their presentations at the South Carolina Academy of Science meetings. These students were also invited to publish their work in the Journal of the South Carolina Academy of Science.
  • In the past 5 years, ten biology students secured grant funding to conduct independent research from the South Carolina Independent College and University Faculty-Student Research program.
  • Two of the last three Columbia College Savory PURL (Program for Undergraduate Research and Learning) award winners were biology majors. These students received grant funding for independent research.
  • Two recent biology majors were awarded the Dr. Selden K Smith Endowed Scholarship for Student Global Experience and traveled to the Central Philippines for ecology research and Masindi, Uganda for a medical mission trip, respectively. Clover also obtained funding from the SC Explorer’s Club Youth Grant. 
  • The biology program is piloting Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) in our Bio 110 courses so that all of our majors entering the program get to design their own experiment to work with fruit flies in their first year. 

I have always felt their sincerity in wanting me to succeed not only as an academic, but as a successful and independent woman of society. 

Maryam Azeem '20

After Graduation

After graduation, our students find careers or pursue a graduate degree at prestigious universities. 

Job Placements

  • Study Coordinator – Oncology (Medical University of South Carolina- Charleston, SC)
  • Director of Research and Culinary Medicine for Foodshare (Columbia, SC)
  • Nephron Pharmaceuticals (Columbia, SC)
  • SC Department of Natural Resources (Columbia, SC)
  • Integrated Micro-Chromatography Systems (Columbia, SC)
  • Patient Tech at Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston, SC)
  • Science Teacher (Lugoff-Elgin High School, Lugoff, SC)

Accepted into Graduate/Ph.D. Programs

  • USC School of Medicine (MD, PA, and PharmD programs)
  • University of Georgia and Tuskegee University Veterinary Schools
  • The Dental College of Georgia.
  • Presbyterian College (PA and PharmD programs)
  • USC & USC School of Medicine (PhD in Integrated Biomedical Sciences
  • MUSC (MS in Biomedical Sciences)
  • Georgia Southern University (MS in Public Health)
  • Furman University (MS in Community Engaged Medicine)

Biology Areas of Study 

Both the biology major and minor are only available in the undergraduate program. 

Major Course Requirements

Minor Course Requirements

The Columbia College biology program is special because all of the professors genuinely care about their students. The professors push their students to be critical thinkers, independent learners, and collaborative teammates.

Scarlett Leigh '19