The Biology Scholars Program (BSP) is an intensive enrichment program for undergraduate biology and biochemistry majors. A two-year program, BSP is designed for students interested in careers in the health professions (i.e. medical, dental, veterinary, pharmacy, physician assistant, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or optometry).
BSP is associated with the biology and chemistry classes that science majors take during their first two years of college. These classes, which are taught by some of UT's finest and most sought-after professors, emphasize working in small groups and developing strong problem-solving and study skills. In addition to these classes, BSP students attend a weekly seminar led by BSP faculty and staff. First-semester students also take a First Year Signature Course (UGS 303) that focuses on research methods and critical thinking; most students use this as preparation to join a research stream in the Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) in their second semester.
During the first year, BSP students are divided into small mentoring groups that are led by sophomore mentors. Mentors provide guidance on a number of topics, such as academic advice and resources, effective studying, time management, and adjusting to college life, along with providing individual support. Individual mentoring groups meet weekly. All BSP students are invited to attend monthly dinners and other activities as arranged by the mentors and BSP coordinator. These events are funded by the College of Natural Sciences. Additionally, BSP students are able to participate in volunteer events each semester. The numerous opportunities to connect with one's mentor, peers and BSP coordinator (who serves as students' academic advisor) allow BSP students to develop a sense of community very quickly. Finding a community, and feeling connected to the UT campus, help students successfully adjust to college life.
Highly motivated and qualified BSP students have the opportunity of becoming employed as peer mentors, program ambassadors, and tutors after their first year in the program.
Why join BSP?
- Small community feel
- Access to peer mentoring during first year
- Closer contact with top professors and staff compared to students who are not in the program
- Guaranteed seats in required classes taught by top professors
- Reserved spot in an FRI stream in second semester (if interested)
Requirements to apply to BSP:
- Be an incoming biology or biochemistry major who is interested in a health professions career;
- Have a competitive SAT or ACT score;
- Have a positive attitude and an interest in being part of a smaller community;
- Display the willingness to challenge yourself for academic excellence.