Student examining a specimen in a microscope

About Our Academic Programs

Department of Biology and Geology

Department of Biology and Geology

Our curricula exposes students to the natural world in a wide variety of classroom, laboratory, and field experiences that are designed to foster critical thinking, teach technical skills for solving biological problems, and develop strong oral and written communication skills.

Biology Program

Dr. William Jackson, Faculty Contact

Students may choose a traditional Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree program in Biology or a degree with a concentration in either Molecular Biology or Environmental Remediation and Restoration.

We also offer a Bachelor of Science degree program in Clinical Laboratory Science in collaboration with the University Health Care System in Augusta, GA.

Biology Minor

Non-Biology majors can choose to support their major by completing a minor in Biology. Prerequisites for courses used toward the minor in Biology are Biological Science I and II (BIOL 121 and 122). The Biology Minor consists of a minimum of 15 hours at or above the 300 level. At least seven hours toward the Biology minor must be completed at USC Aiken. We suggest that students seek advice of the Department of Biology and Geology Chairperson regarding specific courses best suited for their major. All courses in the minor must be passed with a C or better.

Geology Program

Dr. Kelly Gibson, Faculty Contact

Students may obtain a B.S. in Earth Systems Science (ESS). This program provides an integrated overview of the processes and interactions of the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere, and their interplay with human society. Core courses provide students with foundational knowledge that is expanded upon with upper level courses exploring topics such as meteorology, oceanography, GIS, earth history, structural and regional geology, and climate change. Students gain an additional level of professional preparedness by participating in independent study projects with our ESS faculty.

Cognate in Geology

Students wishing to complete a cognate in geology may choose 12 credit hours from among the courses listed below (see: Minor in Geology).

Minor in Geology

Geology A101 (Physical Geology) is the prerequisite for courses used toward a minor in geology. Students completing a minor are highly encouraged to pursue an independent study project with one of our three geology faculty. All courses in the minor must be passed with a grade of C or better and consists of a minimum of 15 hours drawn from the following:

  • GEOL A301 Oceanography
  • GEOL A302 The Anthropocene
  • GEOL A303 Synoptic Meteorology
  • GEOL A325 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
  • GEOL A331 Structural Geology
  • GEOL A363 Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the Sciences
  • GEOL A398 Topics in Geology
  • GEOL A399 Independent Study*
  • GEOL A401 Environmental Geomorphology
  • GEOL A405 Global Biogeochemical Cycles
  • GEOL A425 Coastal Field Geology
  • GEOL A431 Southern Appalachian Geology
  • GEOL A490/GEOL A499 Geology Capstone

*With research mentor permission