Winthrop University: Department of Biology

Department of Biology

Biology Group Photo Fall 2021

The Department of Biology at Winthrop University features a challenging but rewarding curriculum taught by an experienced, enthusiastic faculty. The biology major allows students to tailor their programs beyond the major's core curriculum to meet their specific needs.

Biology is frequently chosen by students with career interests related to medicine, health sciences, botany, zoology, molecular biology, environmental and conservation biology, teaching and secondary education in the sciences and other careers. Small classes (averaging 20-24 students in labs) ensure that students have the opportunity to take advantage of interaction with their instructors.

Degree Programs

Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree and Concentrations Students may choose General Biology or a concentration in Biomedical Research, Conservation Biology, Medical Technology or obtain Teacher Certification in Secondary Education.

Minors: Students with other majors can choose to minor in Biology or General Science

Master of Science (MS) Degree: The department offers coursework and research opportunities with faculty leading to the MS degree. Students can select either a thesis or a non-thesis option depending on their needs. In addition, students can complete their bachelor's and master's degrees within 5 years under our Accelerated Bachelors to Masters program. 

Co-Curricular programs for biology majors that help students succeed

Experiential Learning

The department offers excellent experiential learning opportunities through undergraduate research and internships that are important for students planning to attend graduate programs, health profession programs, biology-related jobs, etc.

Undergraduate Research Students conduct undergraduate research with faculty mentors in well-equipped labs and/or field study sites, and they present their work at local, regional and national scientific meetings. Students are also encouraged to present their work at the department seminar series where they are awarded a lab coat from their faculty mentors. Students can earn academic credit for research through BIOL 471, 472, and 450H.

  • Awarding of Lab Coats The Biology Department awards lab coats to students who conduct independent research with faculty members and present their findings at the department's seminar series.
  • SEA-PHAGES/SEA-GENES project: A unique opportunity for freshmen to begin their Winthrop undergraduate career by participating in three semesters of a research project called the SEA Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science and the SEA-Gene function Elucidation by a Network of Emerging Scientists. The research courses are built around a national experiment in bacteriophage genomics and gene function.
  • Houk Prize for Best Undergraduate Research Project.
  • Academic Internships Internships are available and often serve as stepping-stones to employment and entry into professional careers. Although internships are not required for graduation, they are encouraged. Students can earn academic credit for interning through BIOL 461 and 463.
  • Finding Your Future Program at USC We are extremely pleased to offer this shadowing experience.  If you are chosen from a select group of individuals, it is our hope that your time spent with us will fuel more of your fire to attend USC School of Medicine - Columbia and become a practicing physician.

Biology Department Seminar Series

Each semester the Biology Department invites scientists and professionals from other universities, industries, research institutions and government agencies to present their work to our students and faculty. Many of the speakers also provide information about graduate and professional programs and/or employment opportunities in their respective fields.

Seminars are held from 3:30pm to 4:45pm via ZOOM. Any student or faculty member wanting to attend should contact Dr. Julian Smith at   
Seminar Series Schedule Fall 2021 (PDF 158KB)    
ZOOM link for the seminar

IT - What type of Laptop should I get?

All laptop related information can be found on the Winthrop technology page here

Virtual Tours & Campus Information

Winthrop University Tour
COVID-19 Information
COVID-19 Dashboard

Biology Student Testimonials

Undergraduate Biology Student Testimonials
Graduate Biology Student Testimonials

Dr. Guenther and Winthop University student, Dominique Cain, talk about Biology Undergraduate Research

Student Orgainizations

Beta Beta Beta Biological Honors Society

Biology Course News

First Prize Undergrad Research


Biology 309 Fall 2021

Biology Course News and Pictures Archives

Students, Alumni, and Faculty in the News 

Houk Prize Winner Spring 2021

Mackenzie Jenkins for her work: Structure of salt march and maritime forest plant communities: possible impacts of increasing salinity due to rising sea level
Special Recognition
Allyssa Lewis for her work: Isolating, Purifying, and Investigating Mycobacterial Lysogens
Allison Reed for her work: Investigating the Effects of Semaphorin 3A on Different Aged Chick Retinal Ganglion Cells

  • Bugs, Bugs and More Bugs Dr. Paula Mitchell was selected as this year's recipient of the Cochran Award for Excellence for her decades-long contributions and research towards the study of insects by the South Carolina Entomological Society!
  • Biology and Fine Arts Faculty Fight COVID-19 Via the CreatorSpace
  • Dr. Kathryn Kohl, Biology Professor, awarded the Gale N. DiGorgio award!
  • Congratulations to our 2020 Graduates!
  • Winthrop Alumna, Taylor Conner, wins West Charlotte Teacher of the Year!
  • Biology Department faculty & students volunteering at Rock Hill's iMAGINE STEAM Festival September 2019!
  • Congratulations to Dr. Paula Mitchell for her display "Bug Bar" at Discovery Place Science! 
  • Congratulations to the winners of the Three Minute Thesis: First Place - Ashley Graham "Mechanisms of Urbanization-Driven Decline in the Box Turtle" and the People's Choice Award - Garrett Driscoll "Developing CRISPR/Cas98 Knockout for LPA Receptor-4 in Chicken Retinal Ganglion Cells"
  • Science Scholars Soar - Eagle STEM program inspires student for greatness!
  • What the Doctor Ordered - Christopher Bennett wants to examine diversity in healthcare
  •  Biology Department faculty and students volunteering at Rock Hill's first iMAGINE STEAM Festival
  • Conservation Biology Class Seeks to Save Box Turtles From Urbanization
  • Congratulations to Chandani Mitchell for placing 1st Place at the SAEOPP McNair National Research Conference for her project "Locating Mutagen-Sensivity Gene mus109 in the Drosophila Melanogaster Genome Using Deficiency Mapping.
  • Congratulations to Ellie Abraham - Winner of the Champion Cup for the Best Presentation Overall Boyce Thompson Institute REU at Cornell University!!
  • Winthrop Biologist, Dr. Matt Stern, part of a grant to design blood vessel replacements!
  • Congratulations to Holly Owen's for being selected as Winthop's choice for the "Finding Your Future" program by USC School of Medicine!  She participated in the four week medical shadowing experience Summer 2018.
  • Dr. Janice Chism was awarded the Distinguished Professor Award!  She is the first faculty member to receive all four of Winthrop's teaching awards!

Archives Students, Alumni & Faculty in the News


Biology Facility Updates

Additional Biology Department Links

Freshman Advising

Last Updated: 11/30/21