Clemson Graduate School

Clemson Graduate School

Biological Sciences

General Information

Degrees Offered


The Department of Biological Sciences offers the MS and PhD degrees in Biological Sciences and the MS and PhD degrees in Microbiology. There is also a 5-year BS/MS program in Bioengineering. In addition, faculty members in Biological Sciences also participate in the interdepartmental MS and PhD programs in Plant and Environmental Sciences and Environmental Toxicology. See a complete list of faculty in Biological Sciences and Microbiology and their research interests.

The Biological Sciences graduate program has an active student organization, the Biological Sciences Graduate Student Association (BSGSA).  Learn more about the organization and its activities.

The Department of Biological Sciences is proud to offer an online, non-thesis Master of Biological Sciences designed specifically for K-12 teachers and others interested in biological sciences. The curriculum consists of relevant, rigorous, and challenging graduate courses that are specifically designed to improve science-content knowledge. This program is fully in a distance-learning format and lectures are available 24/7. Learn more about this program.  PLEASE NOTE that the admissions procedure for the BIOSC ONLINE program is different from the other graduate programs in this department.  

About the Program

For additional information, please contact the program coordinator (Saara DeWalt)

Application Requirements


The first, and most important, step in applying to one of the graduate degree programs in Biological Sciences is to identify and contact a faculty member with whom you have similar research interests and discuss potential opportunities in his or her lab for graduate research. Students are not admitted to either the Biological Sciences or Microbiology degree programs without a faculty member having indicated willingness to serve as Major Advisor. See details about opportunities in specific fields of study and faculty research interests, including email contact information to get a better perspective of our program.

*A personal statement (1/2 to 2 pages) is required along with the items listed below.

Required Documents

For additional information, please contact the program coordinator (Saara DeWalt)

Financial Aid

To see the proposed Graduate Tuition Rates for this academic year, click here.

The School or Program offers a number of graduate assistantships to students each year based on merit. These are offered in the form of stipends and the additional benefit of tuition remission. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 credit hours per semester to qualify for a graduate assistantship and must work a minimum of 10 hours a week as a teaching or research assistant or perform other tasks assigned by the School or Program.

Graduate students accepted into the Biological Sciences or Microbiology graduate programs are either awarded support through the Department of Biological Sciences as Graduate Teaching/Laboratory Assistants (GLAs) or from individual Faculty Advisors’ sponsored grand funds as Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs).

GTAs are awarded upon acceptance to the program and may be renewed annually based upon performance in teaching and satisfactory progress towards degree for up to 3 years for MS candidates and 5 years for PhD candidates. The current annual (12-months, no teaching in summer) salary is $16,000 for MS students and $18,000 for PhD students. Annual GTA stipends may be supplemented by Faculty Advisors’ grant funds.

GRAs are awarded by individual Faculty Advisors from funds available on research grants upon acceptance to the program. Individual stipend amounts and conditions of renewal are determined by the individual Faculty Advisor, but currently funded GRA stipends range from $16,000 - $23,000 depending upon status (MS or PhD) or tenure of student (years in program). GRA support is negotiated by prospective students with individual Faculty Advisors.

Course of Study

Program of Study

The graduate programs in Biological Sciences and Microbiology offer the MS and PhD degrees. 

Each student’s program of study is supervised by his or her advisory committee and is tailored to the student&rsquos needs and aspirations. The masters degree (MS) requires 30 hours of credit (24 hours coursework, 6 hours thesis (BIOSC or MICRO 891 research)). A non-thesis option (Biological Sciences MS program only) requires 36 hours of coursework and is recommended as continuing education for public school educators. Requirements for the doctoral (PhD) degree include 18 hours of dissertation research (BIOSC or MICRO 991); there is no specific coursework required. Rather, a course of study appropriate to each student is designed by the advisory committee in consultation with the student.

See the overview of the specialization areas that are included in the programs of study in the MS and PhD degrees for Biological Sciences.

Program Coordinator

Additional Contact

Videos (2)

NewsRSS News Feed