MARC Scholars Program

The MARC Scholars Program is a research-intensive undergraduate honors program for UC Berkeley undergraduates who are committed to:

  • Pursuing a Ph.D. or combined M.D./Ph.D. in the biomedical or behavioral sciences
  • Becoming socially responsible leaders as research scientists. Each year we will select up to 4 students to become MARC Scholars. See our Application Information page for details on eligibility and how to apply.

Special note for the Spring 2014 Application Cycle:

The MARC Scholars Program is normally a two year program. However, for the Spring 2014 application cycle, the second year (June 1, 2015 – May 31, 2016) is contingent upon the renewal of funding for the program. The description of the program below is based on the complete two year program.


MARC Scholars participate in a two-year program* that includes academic, scientific and professional preparation leading to competitive eligibility for admission into Ph.D or M.D./Ph.D. programs. Benefits include:

  • Paid, long-term, mentored research training in the laboratories of faculty who are committed to comprehensive quality training of undergraduate researchers.
  • Generous financial support including a stipend ($11,628/year; $969/month), tuition/fee support ($2,297/semester), and health insurance (SHIP) coverage ($891/semester). NOTE: A MARC award is likely to effect your financial aid package. Please check with your financial aid advisor. Also, exact numbers are subject to change annually.
  • Paid extramural summer research between your junior and senior year at another institution, including up to $3,500 for travel and per diem. NOTE: The opportunity for extramural summer research is contingent on renewed program funding for the 2nd year.
  • Annual travel awards ($1,000/year) to present your research at national scientific conferences and lab supply awards ($600/year) to help support your research project.
  • Individualized academic, personal and professional advising by Biology Scholars Program staff.
  • Personalized advising about graduate schools, the application process and assistance preparing graduate applications.
  • The option of pairing with a Berkeley faculty member other than your lab mentor who has signed on to mentor a MARC research scholar.
  • Student-led service learning project to help you develop your leadership skills and your competencies as a socially responsible scientist and increase access to science to students from diverse backgrounds.
  • Professional development and graduate school application workshops.
  • Research seminars and other opportunities to network with UC Berkeley faculty mentors.
  • Seminars and workshops on science career options and how to prepare for them.
  • Training in the responsible conduct of research.
  • Research symposia and retreats for you to present your research and network with research colleagues.

* contingent upon funding for the second year


These are just some of the basic expectations. If you are selected, you will be given a more detailed list of expectations that you must agree to upon acceptance of an MARC Scholars position. 

  • Commit to the program for a full 2 years (June 1, 2014 - May 31, 2016). Note: the second year of the program is contingent upon continued funding, however students should commit to the two full years so that they will continue with the program if funding is renewed.
  • Maintain a high standard of academic achievement (at least 3.0 GPA)
  • Apply to graduate school (Ph.D. or M.D/Ph.D. program) within 1-2 years after graduation from UC Berkeley.
  • Attend and participate in all MARC program activities (i.e. weekly meetings, seminars, workshops, symposia, extramural summer research, leadership project, etc.).
  • Work in the lab between 10-15 hours/week during the fall and spring semesters and a minimum of 30 hours/week in the summer.
  • Meet with the MARC Coordinators a minimum of 2 times per semester and when requested. Keep them informed of any changes to your situation
  • Although the UC Berkeley MARC Program is administered by the Biology Scholars Program (BSP), you do not have to be a BSP member to apply. Applicants who are selected will become BSP members and must also meet the expectations of being a BSP member, including attending a program orientation, the All Student Meeting each semester, and meeting with BSP advisors. Please visit for more information about BSP