Biology Undergraduate Scholars Program (BUSP)

University of California-Davis
Academic Level
Issue Area
Academic Program
Key Personnel
Program Focus
First Year Support,
Undergraduate Research


The Biology Undergraduate Scholars Program (BUSP) was initiated to increase the performance and persistence of Underrepresented Minorities, disadvantaged, and disabled students in biology majors at the University of California Davis (UCD). Over time, BUSP goals have evolved to include preparing students to pursue post-baccalaureate programs, such as doctoral studies and/or human and veterinary medicine studies.

Program Description

BUSP is a large-scale, professional development program for underrepresented minorities, socio-economically disadvantaged, and disabled students in life sciences majors. The program takes a holistic approach to assist students to thrive academically and personally through supplemental education in chemistry, calculus, and biology. Through sound academic and personal advising by experienced professional staff and faculty advisors, and, through practical experience in the discipline afforded by internships in research laboratories.


BUSP students significantly out-persist and out-perform their majority group peers (MGPs) in foundational courses (Introductory Calculus, Chemistry, and Biology).

BUSP students who entered the College of Biological Sciences (CBS) between 2010 and 2014 persisted in the foundational courses at a rate of 77%, compared to their MGPs at 61%.

BUSP students also achieve 3.21 mean GPA in these courses, compared to their MGPs at 2.98.

BUSP students (2002-2005 and 2006-2009 entrants) were retained to graduation at a 72% graduation rate, compared to 58% of CBS students.

The incoming 2017 cohort consists of 59 students, of whom 81.4% are Hispanic. 

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