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BioScholars Program


The  BioScholars Program is designed to give students majoring in the biological sciences the opportunity to pursue their interests as part of a smaller community of scholars. The program connects students to the resources of a large university and provides an intimate collegiate atmosphere where students work closely with peers and professors in small group settings, research laboratories, and special programs and activities. BioScholars offers the chance to create and implement programs that uphold the ideals of Excellence, Integrity, and Service. Leadership opportunities are available and encouraged for interested undergraduates. 

BioScholars is a learning community dedicated to providing undergraduate students:

  • support for student transition to UC San Diego and the Division of Biological Sciences
  • support for exploring and finding research participation opportunities as a UC San Diego undergraduate Biological Sciences major
  • exploration of issues and opportunities in the sciences and professions
  • understanding of the diversity of UC San Diego and the field of science
  • opportunities to enhance leadership skills
  • guidance to resources to assist students on their science journey

Student Organization

The division works in collaboration with students in the official BioScholars student organization to create networking, leadership, and social opportunities. See the BioScholars Program website for further details.


All incoming freshmen will be invited to apply for the BioScholars program. Acceptance decisions will be based joint consideration of academic achievements in hgh school, enthusiasm for studies in biological sciences, and interest in research participation communicated in the application. BioScholars must maintain a 3.7 GPA and participate regularly in club events in order to continue in the program. 

Continuing students who did not apply, or were not accepted, the summer before enrolling at UC San Diego may apply at the end of Fall Quarter of their second, third, or fourth academic year. Visit the BioScholars website for more information. 

Participation in the program is via  invitation only. Regents Scholars and high-achieving high school students will be given priority.  Scholars must maintain a 3.7 GPA to continue with the program.

Program Components and Opportunities

Academic Timeline


  • Phage Genomics Research Initiative: an exciting and innovative opportunity for freshmen to acquire hands-on research experience.
  • Biology Honors Seminar (BILD 96): provides an opportunity in the fall to meet with biology faculty and fellow scholars once per week to explore the academic life and educational opportunities in the division and university



  • Research opportunities for upper-division students  (BISP 199)
  • Help in identifying labs and applying for senior honors thesis program  (BISP 196)


  • Join the BioScholars Seminar offered each year in the spring on a topic chosen by BioScholars students who also play a major role in designing the curriculum. Example topics: Spring 2020 Climate Change/Sustainability; Spring 2019 Nutrition in Health and Disease (BISP 170)
  • Continue research via the Senior Honors Research Program; Graduate With Distinction noted on transcript
  • Participation in the annual spring quarter Biological Sciences  Research Showcase

Co-Curricular Enrichment


Faculty and staff advising will allow students to:

  • explore academic and career goals
  • understand prerequisites, requirements and expectations of scientific academic programs and careers
  • identify appropriate internship, volunteer and research opportunities
  • identify valuable resources to assist students in their pursuit of a science education
  • supplement information students receive from other advising professionals

Faculty Academic Advisor

Dr. Kathleen French

The Faculty Academic Advisor attends weekly steering committee meetings and can assist active BioScholars with the following areas:

  • advise individual BioScholars about courses, career plans, etc.
  • advise officers as they plan academic and social events
  • help with planning the student-initiated seminar course, BISP 170, and serve as the instructor of record

Staff Coordinator

Evan Tucker (

The role of the Staff Coordinator is to provide event and logistical support and guidance for the BioScholars student steering committee. The Staff Coordinator is available to assist the steering committee with the following:

  • event planning and funding options for BioScholars events
  • assisting students leaders with logistics and interpreting protocols as they relate to student programs
  • identify valuable resources to assist in event coordination

Community Service and Leadership

Networking and Socializing