Winthrop University: Graduate School - Master of Science in Biology
Contact Information
Graduate School
211 Tillman Hall
Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA
800/411-7041 (tollfree)
803/323-2292 (fax)

Master of Science in Biology


The M.S. in Biology program at Winthrop University offers students broad training in biology.  Students may concentrate in areas ranging from conservation biology and behavioral ecology to biomedical research in cancer, molecular biology and bioinformatics.  Students work closely with graduate faculty advisors who hold Ph.D.s in their areas of specialization and are active researchers. Graduate courses are small (12 students or fewer) allowing for maximum interactions between students and their professors.  Our graduate faculty members enjoy teaching and mentoring graduate students and many have won awards for their teaching and scholarship.   

Graduate Program Director: 
Dr. Kristi Westover
803/323-2111 ext. 6180



Why Winthrop?

GA Position   Biology matriculation  

Travel Support for graduate students

Students have the opportunity to work in their departments and around campus as graduate assistants.


Over 92% of Winthrop's Biology graduate students have matriculated into the work-force or continued their education.


Travel support is available for graduate student presentations or performances.


Click below to learn more about the program!


      At the time of admission, thesis students are paired with a faculty advisor with whom they work to identify a thesis research project.  Students take a foundational course in their first semester, which prepares them to develop and carry out research.  Our program typically has about 20 students with individual faculty members supervising one to two students at a time.  This allows faculty to work closely with students to help them select courses and develop projects which best fit their interests and career goals.  The thesis option provides students with excellent preparation to continue their training in Ph.D. programs or professional schools which emphasize research and for careers at research institutions. 

      Time to completion: 2 - 2.5 years

      Total Credits: 30

      Format: Campus-based

        Curriculum (MS Biology with Thesis)

        The non-thesis option emphasizes breadth of training with students taking advanced coursework across the full range of biology subfields. Most non-thesis students carry out a one-semester project with a faculty member to gain research experience. Non-thesis students leave the program well-prepared to continue on to professional schools, enter biologically-oriented professions in research/government, or community college-level teaching. 

        Time to completion: 2 years

        Total Credits: 33

        Format: Campus-based

        Curriculum (MS in Biology without thesis)

        This option is intended for well-qualified students in the Winthrop BS in Biology program who will complete up to 9 hours of the work for the MS in Biology degree program while enrolled in the undergraduate degree program.

        Time to completion: 2 years

        Total Credits: 33

        Format: Campus-based

        Eligibility: Current Winthrop students in the BS in Biology program only

        Curriculum (Accelerated BS-MS Program)



        MS in Biology : April 15 for fall admission

        Accelerated BS-MS Program: April 15 for fall admission

        Note: All admission materials must be received by the Graduate School office before an application will be reviewed.

          Note from the Biology Department: Admission to the Master of Science degree in biology requires the applicant to successfully complete an undergraduate major in biology, or its equivalent, and one year of general chemistry. 


          Application requirements for the Master of Science in Biology program include:

          • The online Graduate School application with the non-refundable application fee

          • Official transcript(s) from all institutions attended for undergraduate and graduate coursework. Note: Transcripts must be sent directly to Winthrop's Graduate School office from the issuing institution(s)

          • Two letters of recommendation

          • Submit an essay describing personal and professional goals

          • Official scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

          *This eligibility score scale does NOT apply to admission decisions for the Accelerated MS Biology program.




          Score Percentile

          Points GRE-Quantitative Score Percentile


          80% or above 7 85% or above 7
          3.51-3.75 7 70-79% 6 65-84% 6
          3.26-3.50 6 50-69% 5 50-64% 5
          3.01-3.25 5 35-49% 4 35-49% 4
          2.76-3.00 4 20-34% 3 20-34% 3
          2.51-2.75 3 19% or below 2 19% or below 2
          2.26-2.50 2        
          2.01-2.25 1        
          Below 2.00 0        

          The official GRE score must be sent directly to the Graduate School office from the testing service. Eligibility for admission to the program is based on the following point scale:  

           The points from each of the three areas listed in the above table will be computed and the total applied to the following scale*:

          Eligibility Score Status

          Eligible for interview, then admit or deny


          Admission denied


          Applicants with admission scores between 12 and 22 will be contacted by Dr. Kristi Westover to schedule an appointment for an interview. 

          Application requirements for the Accelerated BS-MS in Biology program include:

          • Submit Intent to Pursue form no later than fall of senior year; consult the Graduate Program Director for the specific date when applications are due.

          • The online Graduate School application with the non-refundable application fee

          • 3.0 GPA in the major with a minimum grade of B or better in all undergraduate courses undertaken for graduate credit.

          • 3.0 overall GPA

          • GRE verbal, quantitative and writing scores at or above the 50th percentile.

          • Submit an essay describing personal and professional goals

          • Two letters of recommendation



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    Beyond Graduation

    Ashley Graham

    Ashley Graham
    Master of Biology, Class of 2019

    “As a member of the first cohort of Winthrop’s Accelerated Master’s in Biology program, I became part of a close-knit community of graduate students and faculty that taught me how to really do science! The advanced discussion classes gave me valuable experience in reading and communicating scientific research; we went beyond the textbooks and straight to the source. Other classes included hands-on field and lab work, writing literature reviews, learning to use statistical analysis software, and developing our scientific inquiry skills. Additionally, I learned a lot about teaching through working as a graduate assistant. The excellent mentorship and community spirit among the faculty and students here at Winthrop can’t be matched. This program helped me start my career, and fueled my passion for research and teaching! Since graduating, I have been teaching several different biology classes and interviewing for PhD programs, and I can’t wait for what comes next!"

    Read More Testimonials

    M.S. in Biology graduates go on to careers in a wide variety of biology-related fields or continue their training in doctoral and professional degree programs.  Here are some directions our students have gone in:

    Ph.D. Programs:

    Our M.S. graduates have gone on to doctoral programs all over the country, including:

    • University of South Carolina (Immunology, Marine Biology, Paleontology, Paleopathology)
    • Medical University of South Carolina (Biomedicine)
    • Medical College of Georgia (Biomedicine)
    • University of South Florida (Landscape Ecology)
    • The Ohio State University (Evolutionary Biology)
    • Penn State University (Biology)
    • Wake Forest University (Microbiology/Immunology)
    • University of Arizona (Physiology)

    Professional Programs:

    Our graduates have gone on to programs in medicine, veterinary medicine and pharmacy.


    Our graduates have found jobs in:

    • Biomedical research (University of South Carolina, Vanderbilt University, Carolinas Medical Center, North Carolina Research Campus, Kanapolis Research Campus)

    • Government agencies (USDA, State of South Carolina, Mecklenberg County)

    • Museums (American Museum of Natural History, Schiele Museum, Museum of York County)

    • Private industry

    • College-level biology teaching    


    Back to degree program list

    Last Updated: 9/30/21