do/bioThe Center for Discovering Opportunities in Biological Sciences

transform your future

The Center for Discovering Opportunities in Biological Sciences (do/bio) complements and enriches undergraduate scholarship with experiential learning opportunities and connecting students to resources. The do/bio Center helps prepare students for today’s global, cross-disciplinary workplace. Students will learn about 21st century skills needed to successfully compete in the contemporary job market through offering professional development opportunities, critical training in communication, leadership and networking.


  • Educate students on how to become successful, engaged students
  • Enrich and and complement undergraduate scholarship with discovery-based, experiential learning, including research, internship and international study opportunities.
  • Empower students to successfully compete in the contemporary job market by offering professional development opportunities, critical training in communication, leadership and networking.


  • Provide a Compass: empower students to find their own educational paths and encourage them to take risks and discover
  • Develop Scholarship: support students to become engaged learners and share tools for academic excellence
  • Prepare for real world success: introduce students to 21st century skills and provide opportunities to experience and hone these skills
  • Foster Community Connections: introduce students to the on- and off-campus community and alumni networking

21st Century Skills

21st Century Skills

It takes more than just book knowledge to succeed as a global citizen and professional. The do/bio Center prepares students for real world success by introducing them to 21st century skills and by creating opportunities to hone those skills through practical experience. All undergraduates should acquire general transferable skills, or soft skills, that employers are looks for in a competitive job candidate and professional schools are seeking in applicants to their programs.

Top Ten Real World Skills

  1. Effective oral and written communication skills that anticipate and adapt to the needs of diverse audiences and contexts (including digital environments)

  2. Critical thinking and complex problem solving skills: Skill in analytic reasoning and systems thinking in real-world settings, resulting in innovative solutions within desired constraints

  3. Effective interdisciplinary teamwork and interpersonal skills

  4. Effective cross-cultural collaboration in diverse settings

  5. Proactive ability for research: Ability to identify reliable sources of, and to access and evaluate information, including images and visual media, for life-long supplementation of initial knowledge base

  6. Demonstrated integrity and ethical responsibility, and how to apply it in real-world settings

  7. Demonstrated understanding of global context and issues, and their implications for the future

  8. Demonstrated ability for self-reflection and self-improvement, ability to seek and use feedback

  9. Demonstrated local and global civic engagement and social responsibility

  10. Leadership: Demonstrated initiative, effective decision making, informed risk taking; ability to motivate and inspire others to a shared purpose

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Undergraduate Research Program

Undergraduate Research Programs help to foster faculty-student collaboration within and outside the university. Students have the opportunity to share in a professional researcher's work, to learn how he or she formulates a significant question, evolves a procedure to investigate it, obtains research funding and other resources, gathers and examines evidence, follows hunches, detects loopholes, and evaluates and shares results with the scientific community.

The Undergraduate Research Program conducts info sessions and workshops to inform and prepare students for undergraduate research. Students can select from several credit bearing research courses that allow students to conduct research with faculty inside and outside the division, including the research institutes located in the La Jolla Mesa. Specific competitive research scholarships allow students to participate as Eureka! Scholars during the summer months in leading life sciences laboratories. Undergraduate research is communicated via the annual Student Research Showcase and the Saltman Quarterly Journal.

Internship Opportunities

International educational experiences

To succeed in today’s global research enterprise and economy, students must have - in addition to excellent technical skills - strong intercultural knowledge and competence. The International Education Program for Biologists allows biology majors to participate in significant international activities. To create these opportunities, the division has partnered with UC San Diego’s International Center and has also created its own program

Undergraduate Instructional Apprentice Program

Teaching is an invaluable experience. It develops communication and leadership skills, and provides an opportunity to better understand how people learn. Furthermore, being an undergraduate instructional apprentice allows undergraduates to get to know and work with faculty outside the classroom settings. (See:

Professional Development Opportunities

Journeys in Discovery Program

The Journeys in Discovery Program is a three-quarter long professional development series. It provides coaching and mentoring in academic planning and how to best utilize campus resources. Through a series of one-unit courses (BILD 95 A – C), the program explores the various career paths available to students majoring in biological sciences:

  • Introduction to Career Opportunities: Biological Sciences alumni profile careers for students to become familiar with potential career options
  • From innovation to marketed products: students develop an understanding of translational biology skills
  • Introduction to Biotechnology Business: students learn about entrepreneurship and innovation tools

The Life Science Career Quarter

The Biological Sciences Student Association (BSSA) created a quarter-long program that introduces students to the myriad of possible careers for biology majors. Specialized workshops such as Developing Interview Skills and How to Write a Resume help students prepare for one-on-one internship interviews with local biotechnology companies.
 The Life Sciences Career Quarter has three main components:

  • Career panels, which allow students to learn about career options from and to network with biology alums
  • Career development workshops, which allows students to hone their soft skills
  • Biology Undergraduate Job Fair, which allows students to network and learn first-hand professional opportunities in science-based jobs

Leadership Opportunities

College students who get involved improve their chances for academic success. Student organizations provide such opportunities for significant engagement. Furthermore, student organizations provide students with opportunities to develop and hone important soft skills, including the ability to work in a team, to lead and to communicate effectively. Because of their potential to positively influence students’ educational journeys and academic achievements, the division supports three distinctively different student organizations, each one with a unique vision and explicit goals.

Bioscholars Program

The Bioscholars Program provides challenging intellectual and leadership opportunities for academically excelling undergraduates majoring in the biological sciences. The program has two parts, an academic (course-based) component and a student leadership (student organization) track.


The Biological Sciences Student Association (BSSA) plays a crucial role in expanding opportunities and enhancing the overall educational and social experiences of students during their time at UC San Diego. In addition, BSSA assists in preparing students for a wide range of career opportunities. BSSA provides a series of events and programs that support biology majors’ educational goals and broaden and enhance their overall experience at UC San Diego, thus serving as the first step in a lifelong relationship between the division and its students.


The Saltman Quarterly Program (SQ) conveys the excitement of science and increases the awareness of and pride in the contributions of undergraduates to biological research to the Division of Biological Sciences, UC San Diego and the greater San Diego community.

Information Sessions and Workshops

Contact Us

Hermila Torres, DO/Bio Manager

Hermila Torres
Manager, DO/Bio Center
(858) 534-5515

General Inquiries

Center for Discovering Opportunities in Biological Sciences (do/bio)
(858) 534-5515