facebook icon twitter youtube

View Printable Biology Description



Description of the Major:

Biology is the study of life in all its diverse forms:  bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa, plants and animals.  The Department of Biology at Coastal Carolina University gives students opportunities to explore these various life forms at molecular, cellular, organismic, and ecological levels.  In addition to core curriculum requirements, a biology major includes 38-40 credit hours in upper-division biology courses as well as related courses in chemistry and physics.

The Student Experience:

  • Students have access to professors with a broad range of expertise, from the molecular scale to the ecosystem.  Faculty have varied research interests that include infectious diseases, circadian rhythms, cellular and molecular biology, plant population genetics, ichthyology (the study of fish), herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians), sea bird conservation, stream and wetland ecology, phylogenomics, and neurology.
  • Classes take students into both the laboratory and the field.  Many laboratories involve outdoor activities and field trips to sites such as Waties Island, wetlands, forests, swamps and Carolina bays.
  • Students have the opportunity to work with faculty on independent research projects.  Recent topics have included the landscape ecology of golf courses, ecology of the Carolina bays, freshwater ecology, using DNA to determine bird parentage, fungus on beaches, and investigating prions.
  • Internships, employment and/or volunteer opportunities are available at locations such as Myrtle Beach State Park, Huntington Beach State Park, pharmacies, veterinary and medical practices, and Ripley's Aquarium.
  • The Pre-Health Professions Advisory Committee assists students with career goals in the health professions.

Beyond the Classroom:

  • Environmental professional
  • Medical professional
  • Industrial biologist
  • Zoologist
  • Biomedical engineer
  • Teacher
  • Pharmacologist
  • Clinical researcher
  • Toxicology researcher
  • Biostatistician
  • Botanist/Plant scientist
  • Food and nutrition scientist


Areas of Study:

The Department of Biology offers three areas of specialization from which majors can choose.  Students take two courses targeted toward these areas and then select an additional 18-20 credits of upper-level biology courses.

  • Cellular-molecular biology and genetics
    • Microbiology (BIOL 330/L)
    • Molecular Biology (BIOL 450/L)
  • Integrative biology
    • Plant course
    • Animal course
  • Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
    • Evolution (BIOL 365/L)
    • Conservation Ecology (BIOL 484/L)

For more information: