Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program
JEAN COOK, Director
The Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (BBSP) of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an umbrella admissions and first-year program for 15 Ph.D. programs in the School of Medicine, School of Pharmacy, School of Public Health, and the College of Arts and Sciences. The following programs are affiliated with the BBSP: Biochemistry and Biophysics, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Biology (MCDB Division), Cell and Developmental Biology, Cell and Molecular Physiology, Chemistry (Biological Chemistry Division), Genetics and Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Immunology, Molecular and Cellular Pathology, Neurobiology, Nutrition (Biochemistry Division), Oral Biology, Pharmaceutical Sciences (Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmaceutics tracks), Pharmacology, and Toxicology. Students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in any of these programs apply to the BBSP. For a complete list of faculty in the BBSP see the faculty page of the program's website at: bbsp.unc.edu/research/faculty-database. See individual program listings for more information about individual Ph.D. programs. These also can be accessed from the BBSP website.
Admission Requirements. A B.S. or B.A. degree is required for admission into the BBSP. Successful applicants have a strong background in the biological sciences, chemistry, physics or mathematics. Only applicants with both strong academic records and prior research experience are favorably considered. An interview, usually on campus, is required prior to admission.
Program of Study. During their first year, BBSP students are part of small, interest-based groups led by several faculty members. These groups meet weekly and provide a research community for students until they join a degree granting program. In these groups, students develop professional skills including scientific writing, original research presentations, responsible conduct of research, and quantitative reasoning. The faculty in these groups advise students in selecting laboratory rotations and courses that meet their individual interests.
BBSP students choose from more than 400 faculty members as they pursue three required research rotations in the fall and spring semesters of their first year. At the completion of the third rotation, each student selects an academic advisor who will provide guidance for his or her dissertation research training. The student also joins a Ph.D. program that the advisor is affiliated with and completes that program's requirements.
Financial Assistance. All BBSP students receive an annual stipend ($28,500 in 20142015). Tuition, health insurance, and fees are covered by the program.
Courses. The BBSP does not have a core curriculum or require students to take a particular set of courses beyond BBSP 901 and 902 (listed below). Students may take courses offered by any of the participating Ph.D. programs (see individual program listings for available courses). After joining a specific Ph.D. program students must fulfill the specific coursework and other requirements of that program.
Courses for Graduate Students
710 Introductory Statistics for Laboratory Scientist (1). This course introduces the basic concepts and methods of statistics with emphasis on applications in the experimental biological sciences. Students should have a basic understanding of algebra and arithmetic. No previous background in probability or statistics is required, nor is experience with statistical computing.
901 Research in Biological and Biomedical Sciences (0.56). Enrollment in BBSP program required. Lab rotations with BBSP faculty.
902 Seminar in Biological and Biomedical Sciences (0.54). Enrollment in BBSP program required. First Year Group course of small interest-based groups led by faculty advisors. Includes professional skills development in a research community.
903A Research in Biological and Biomedical Sciences - Part l (1.5). Enrollment in BBSP program required. Lab rotations with BBSP faculty. This lab rotation is Part I of a two part lab rotation which spans fall and spring semesters.
903B Research in Biological and Biomedical Sciences - Part II (1.5). Enrollment in BBSP program required. Lab rotations with BBSP faculty. This lab rotation is Part II of a two part lab rotation which spans fall and spring semesters.