Biological Sciences Collegiate Division

In the Biological Sciences Collegiate Division (BSCD), students from every major study life in all its forms. The student experience focuses on the research processes that inform our knowledge of biological mechanisms that govern living things and the interactions of organisms with each other and with their environment.

Quick Links

Apply to September Courses at MBL

Dive deep into one of our courses at the Marine Biological Laboratory! All Majors Welcome - Application Deadline March 1st

Submit a Teaching Nomination

Nominations for teaching awards are accepted through the first Friday of Spring Quarter. Recognize some of your instructors!

Programs of Study

Curriculum and Resources

    Click below to learn more about The University of Chicago's research-focused programming at The Marine Biological Laboratory.  

    Hands-on biology and neuroscience courses are available to students from all majors in the Summer, Autumn, and Spring Quarters. All programs take place on the MBL campus in Woods Hole, MA.  

    Current MBL Programs for UChicago Undergraduates

    Spring Quarter

    September Courses 

    Semester in Environmental Science (SES)

    Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF)

    All students at the University of Chicago are required to take two courses in biological sciences. For students not taking BIOS courses as part of their major or pre-health preparation, the BSCD offers distinct "non-major" general education courses. General education courses in the BSCD prepare students from all majors to engage in intelligent discourse about health, life on earth and its history, and biotechnology, as well as the scientific problems facing the modern world. 

    The University of Chicago is a preeminent center for biological and biomedical research. The BSCD believes that hands-on research experiences are an essential part of an education in biological sciences and neurosciences, and we are committed to helping all motivated students find a research activity that matches their interests. It is also important for students to explore the careers that are opened up by a degree in biological sciences or neurosciences. 

    There are two paths you can follow to gain hands-on experience and develop as a researcher:

    If you have any questions about navigating the Biological Sciences Collegiate Division curriculum, please contact the BSCD advisers:

    Click here to schedule an appointment with a BSCD adviser. 

    A broad liberal arts education provides an exceptional preparation for a career in the health professions. Students are encouraged to concentrate in any discipline in which they have a strong interest, while making sure that they fulfill the common entry requirements for professional school.

    The ability to communicate the importance, excitement, and rigor of science to the general public is a critical skill for scientists. In these three courses, students analyze communication strategies and practice communicating science by writing and publishing a digital story, creating and delivering a TED Talk-style video, and designing an exhibit in the Chicagoland area.

    The Quantitative Biosciences Center is a drop-in help center that undergraduates use as a resource in completing assignments, understanding curriculum, and discussing the applications of computers and mathematics to biology. Students require support to be able to complete quantitative, computer-based assignments and synthesize the incorporation of mathematics and computation with complex biology. Thereby, the construction of the Quantitative Biosciences Center with its “help center” hours and “drop-in service” was born. Graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants staff the center and provide consultation for students engaged in the computational biology curriculum that is integrated into the first 6 courses required in the Biology major. Physical scientists routinely apply computational and mathematical approaches in their fields and thus have the skills to provide technical and conceptual assistance to undergraduate students in the biosciences. 

    Career Advancement provides student opportunities to explore career pathways, network with alumni, and engage with employers.  Careers in Biological Sciences offers advising appointments, career exploration treks and programs, and internships available through the Jeff Metcalf Internship Program.  

    Dave Lerner, Program Director of Careers in Biological Sciences, serves as the lead adviser for students interested in pursuing biological sciences career paths - you can schedule an appointment with Dave on Handshake or contact him directly at

    Sign-up for the Careers in Biological Sciences Listhost to stay up to date with current opportunities. For a list of all available Career Advancement Email Lists, go here.

    According to the National Science Foundation (NSF), Pathway Programs enhance diversity in the academic fields of science and medicine by broadening and stimulating student access to these diverse areas of study. Pathways are specifically charged with addressing the long standing underrepresentation of racially minoritized groups and women within STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) “but many, if not most programs, increase awareness, access, engagement, and inclusion for all students.”

    Explore BSD Pathway Programs for College Students

BSCD Faculty Directory

Learning Beyond the Classroom

Take advantage of experiences off campus, in Chicago, across the nation, and around the globe.