Group of three students in blue lab coats sitting next to a computer displaying a micrograph.

life sciences mentorship and career readiness



Program Overview

BioLaunch offers a supportive, community-focused approach to welcoming and supporting new life sciences students throughout their academic journey at UC Davis. The program has three parts and is administered by the College of Biological Sciences and the UC Davis Internship and Career Center. 

  • BioLaunch Mentor Collective
  • ​​The BioLaunch Mentor Collective provides support for new students by pairing them with a continuing CBS student who helps guide them through their first year on campus. The mentor collective is administered by the College of Biological Sciences. Questions should be directed to
  • BioLaunch First-Year Course​​​​​​
  • Freshman and first-year transfer students can enroll in Exploring Biological Sciences to learn more about CBS, discuss topics important to their academic success, and discover the many resources available to CBS students. The first-year course is administered by the College of Biological Sciences. Questions should be directed to
  • Biolaunch Fellows Program 
  • After the first quarter, freshman can enroll in the BioLaunch Fellows Program, which helps life sciences students prepare for a variety of careers and continues in the second, third and fourth years of study. The BioLaunch Fellows program is administered by the Internship and Career Center. Questions should be directed to

BioLaunch Mentor Collective

The BioLaunch Mentor Collective pairs new first-year students with established peers, and allows both students a chance to share common experiences, advice and helpful resources.

  • How does the collective work?
  • Based on your interests, you’ll be matched with a student mentor who can answer many common questions about academics, campus and more. This mentor began as a new student too and has volunteered to share their experiences to help get you familiar with life at UC Davis and welcome you to our community.
  • Who are the mentors?
  • Your mentor will be a returning student in the College of Biological Sciences. If you tell us about your interests and the qualities of your ideal mentor, we’ll match you with a student that best fits your unique profile.
  • How do I sign up?
  • Incoming College of Biological Sciences students are invited to this program by email before fall quarter. If you have not received this email and want to participate, please contact the BioLaunch Program Coordinator at

BioLaunch First-Year Course

  • Year 1 - Exploring Biological Sciences (BIS 005 freshman, BIS 198 transfer)
  • This is a low-intensity, one-unit, pass/no-pass, seminar-style course designed to help new CBS students transition from high school or community college to UCD. The course familiarizes new students with the College of Biological Sciences. Course is in fall quarter, and open to all incoming freshman and first-year transfer students. 

First-Year Course Frequently Asked Questions

BioLaunch Fellows Program

The BioLaunch Fellows Program is designed for students to participate in career exploration, professional development, and experiential learning over the course of their 4 years at UC Davis. Each course in the series is 1-2 units, Pass/No-Pass, and no final. Fellows are invited to special events to network and hear from career professionals, and they have dedicated career advisors to support them in their career journeys.

  • Year 1 - Career Pathways Seminar (BIS 006)
  • This course will provide students with an opportunity to explore career possibilities and make academic choices for future success. Students explore diverse career options through hearing from weekly guest speakers with a background and/or career in biological sciences. Students practice building professional networks, identifying transferable skills, and developing materials and strategies for landing relevant experiential learning opportunities in the biological sciences fields. Open to first-years who have completed BIS 005 or with permission of instructor.
  • Year 2 - Career Labs (BIS 060)
  • This course builds on the first-year seminar course by engaging guest professionals with a background in the Biological Sciences in interactive sessions with students. This course will expose students to a wide range of roles they might consider after graduation, and help them explore how the skills they acquire in the classroom, through volunteering, and through internships would make them good candidates for future employment. Open to second-years who have completed BIS 006.
  • Year 3 - Experiential Learning Seminar (BIS 106)
  • This course leads students to reflect on current or very recent work or volunteer experiences, and discuss issues such as organizational / office culture, conflict resolution, identity / equity issues, appropriate networking, mentorship, time management, etc. Fellows participating in unpaid experiences are eligible to apply for a $3,000 stipend. Open to third-years who have completed BIS 060.
  • Year 4 - Career Next Steps Seminar (BIS 160)
  • This course supports students in the job search and graduate/professional school application process. They apply lessons learned throughout the BioLaunch Fellows Program, and give and receive peer support and coaching. Open to fourth-years who have completed BIS 106.
  • BioLaunch Fellows Events
  • BioLaunch Fellows are invited to participate in community-building and networking events throughout the year. For current BioLaunch Fellows, search “BioLaunch” under “Events” in HandShake.

BioLaunch Fellows Frequently Asked Questions