BISP 193: Biology Education Research

BISP 193 offers students the opportunity to participate in research for academic credit with, and under the direction of, a UC San Diego faculty member.  Projects are expected to involve novel research that examine issues in biology education, such as the science of learning, evidence of effective teaching, and equity and inclusion in the classroom.


  • Minimum 2.5 cumulative UC GPA prior to quarter of participation.
  • Minimum of 90 units completed (including units successfully transferred to UC San Diego, i.e. AP, transfer) prior to quarter of participation.
  • Minimum one quarter commitment.  Note: Some faculty sponsors/instructors may require a multiple quarter committment.

Identification of an eligible faculty sponsor/instructor of record who has an active appointment with UC San Diego in an approved teaching title. NOTE: Students interested in pursuing the Contiguous BS/MS Program Education Research track must conduct BISP 193 with one of the following faculty sponsors/instructors of record: James Cooke, Stanley Lo, Lisa McDonnell, Stephanie Mel, or Ella Tour.

Complete application, including student and faculty sponsor/instructor portions, must be submitted by the stated deadline.  Application and subsequent enrollment are subject to approval of the Division of Biological Sciences.

Completion of mandatory safety training and any other training related to the research you are conducting, as determined by your faculty sponsor/instructor of record, is required.

Course Information/Major Applicability

  • Earn upper-division credit.
  • One quarter of BISP 193 (if taken for 4 units) may apply to biology major requirements as an elective.
    If BISP 193 is applied as a major elective, any additional quarters of special studies courses (193, 196, 197, 198, 199) cannot be applied to the major elective requirement, but will result in upper-division university credit. 
  • A quarter of BISP 193 that is applied to biology undergraduate major requirements cannot be applied toward MS program requirements in the BS/MS program.
  • Academic credit can be earned a maximum of 5 times.
  • Variable unit course (2 or 4 units) graded on pass/no pass basis.


Deadlines are strictly enforced and no late applications will be accepted.
For participation in: Application Opens Application Closes/Deadline

Fall 2018

Monday, April 2, 2018

Friday, September 7, 2018 @ 4pm

Winter 2019

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Friday, December 7, 2018 @ 4pm

Spring 2018

Monday, January 8, 2018

Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 4pm

Summer 2018
(any session)

Monday, April 2, 2018

Friday, June 8, 2018 @ 4pm

  • Applicants should review all criteria (including instructor eligibility) for enrollment in the applicable Special Studies course and ensure that the submitted application represents a complete and accurate submission.
  • Applications will be reviewed in relation to the catalog course description for the Special Studies course for which the application was submitted.  If the application is denied, the student has the opportunity to re-submit, only if the application for the requested term is still open.  Re-submission after the posted deadline will not be permitted, thus early submission is encouraged.
  • It is the applicants' responsibility to ensure that the proposed instructor of record submits his/her portion of the application before the posted deadline.  Both the student and instructor portion of the application must be submitted by the posted deadline for the application to be considered.
  • Extensions or exceptions to the application deadlines will not be granted under any circumstances, including unavailability of the proposed instructor at the time the application is due.  Applicants are encouraged to plan accordingly.

How to Apply

  • Identify a UC San Diego faculty member with whom you would like to conduct research.
  • Contact the faculty member to inquire about availability and to explain your interest/qualifications. It is recommended that you include information about your eligibility, academic background, research experience (if any), and why you are interested in the work being conducted by that faculty member. You may want to include your resume.
  • Once an opportunity for placement is confirmed, work with the faculty member to solidify a proposed research project.  Projects are expected to involve novel research that examine issues in biology education, such as the science of learning, evidence of effective teaching, and equity and inclusion in the classroom.
  • Download, print and complete the BISP 193 application and research plan
  • The complete application (inluding both the student and instructor portions/signatures) must be submitted by the posted deadline to the Biology Student & Instructional Services Office.  Late applications will not be accepted; early submission is encouraged. 
  • Be sure to fill out the application completely, including all required fields.  This will help ensure a smooth application process.

How to Enroll

If the application is approved, the student will be automatically enrolled during the first or second week of the quarter in which the research is to be conducted. In Summer terms, enrollment will occur prior to the Summer Session Fee Payment Deadlines. Applicants will be contacted via the Virtual Advising Center (VAC) if there are problems with the application and/or enrollment.

Enrollment Verification

If the student or another individual, organization, or institution requires enrollment verification, the following options are available:

  • If a lab requires the student provide proof of application approval, the student may print a copy of his/her approved application by visiting their application portal
  • If a lab requires the student to provide proof of enrollment, the following options are available:
    • Official - Request Enrollment Verification from the Registrar's Office.
    • Unofficial - Provide a print-out via TritonLink Courses & Waitlists screen, which lists the course, instructor, section ID, grading option, etc.


At the conclusion of the term, the instructor of record is responsible for assigning a final grade (pass or no pass) via the University eGrades System.

BISP 193 Frequently Asked Questions

Questions? Contact Student & Instructional Services (Pacific Hall 1128) through the Virtual Advising Center (VAC) or by phone at (858)534-0557.
Are you an instructor or potential instructor for a research for academic credit course?  Please review Information for Instructors