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Master of Science

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

View Department of Biology Webpage


      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. 

      Most thesis students complete the program in two to two-and-a-half years.

      Curriculum (with thesis)

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

      The nonthesis option is designed to allow students to complete the program in two years.

      Curriculum (without thesis)

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      NEW: Application deadline extended to June 15, 2021 for Fall admission 

      View Additional Application Information

      To complete an application

      1. Online Graduate Studies application
      2. Official transcript(s) from all institutions
      3. Two letters of recommendation
      4. Essay
      5. GRE test scores

      View Detailed Application Requirements

*Click to expand


Why Winthrop?

  • Students have the opportunity to work in their departments and around campus as graduate assistants
  • Travel support is available for graduate student presentations or performances
  • Over 87% of Winthrop's Biology graduate students have matriculated into the work-force or continued their education 


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

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