Get involved
Precious Kennedy

With over 80% of employers identifying leadership as a quality they look for in hiring, and many graduate schools assessing candidates based on a variety of leadership competencies, CBS students are highly encouraged to engage in ways that build these skills during their time on campus. This can be done through student organizations on campus, student employment, and community engagement.  

Student organizations

The University of Minnesota has more than 800 student organizations that represent various student interests. More than 30 student organizations are considered to be of high-interest to CBS students, offering opportunities for learning and engagement related to academic majors and career paths associated with the study of life sciences. 

All UMN student organizations
Student organizations for CBS students

CBS leadership opportunities

CBS offers a variety of leadership opportunities within the College and aims to include students with a diverse range of backgrounds and interests. We encourage all students to apply without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Students interested in serving in a leadership position can apply via the CBS Leadership Application each fall and spring. Through this application you can learn about the specifics of each of these opportunities and apply to be considered for any positions of interest.

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Biology Colloquium Student Leader (Fall Semester)

Founded in the 1970's by a group of students, the University of Minnesota Biology Colloquium (BCQ) is a student-led program that helps students explore all areas of biology and careers and develops student leaders. BCQ Student Leaders play a critical role in facilitating in-class activities and discussions providing student feedback to those enrolled in BIOL 1020. 

CBS Ambassadors

CBS Ambassadors work as a team to support the College of Biological Sciences by promoting CBS and the University of Minnesota to prospective students and their families, current students, alumni, and the surrounding community. CBS Ambassadors participate in student outreach initiatives, on-campus recruitment events, and first-year transition programming. 

Peer Advisors

Peer Advisors assist students with basic advising questions, serve as a resource to connect CBS students with the CBS Student Services office and campus resources, and support the daily tasks of academic advisors, career coaches, and student engagement staff.

Orientation Peer Advisors (Summer)

Orientation Peer Advisors (OPAs) create a welcoming, inclusive, and safe environment for individuals with varied backgrounds, perspectives, and identities so that all incoming students have a positive orientation experience. OPAs support the summer orientation program for new CBS students by sharing their personal experiences, assisting with class registration, and connecting students with campus resources. 

CBS Events Board

The Events Board coordinates and executes events throughout the year that are designed to support student well-being and foster a welcoming and inclusive community within CBS undergraduate students. As a member of the Events Board, you will have the opportunity to develop, plan, and execute events for your peers. 

CBS Student Board

The Student Board serves as the main governing body of the undergraduate College of Biological Sciences. They act as a bridge between students, faculty, and staff, and strive to increase communication and collaboration within the overall CBS community. Weekly meetings occur on Wednesdays from 5:30-7 p.m. and are open the CBS community. If you would like to attend a meeting, email for the meeting location. 

Nature of Life Peer Mentors & Sophomore Guild Leaders

The Nature of Life program is a signature component of a CBS undergraduate education consisting of the NOL@Itasca program and the Nature of Life course series. In addition to participating in the program, many students also take on leadership roles in the program following the completion of their first year. During the summer, students have the opportunity to serve as Peer Mentors for the NOL@Itasca program. During the academic year, sophomores can join the Nature of Life team as a Sophomore Guild Leader where they serve as a Peer Mentor to a group of first-year students.

NOL currently recruits for leadership positions directly through the NOL program, usually in February or March. If you are interested in a NOL leadership position, please reach out to with any questions. 

Transfer Peer Guides

The Transfer Peer Guide position is a leadership opportunity within CBS and The Nature of Science and Research course (BIOL 3001), which supports new transfer students in their transition into CBS and prepares transfer students to engage in research while at the University of Minnesota and in future career paths. The Transfer Peer Guides provide vital peer support to new transfer students. If you took BIOL 3001 and are interested in becoming a Transfer Peer Guide, watch for an email in early April about the opportunity to apply. 

Welcome Week Leaders

Before the start of each fall semester, first-year students participate in Welcome Week to support their transition to the University and College of Biological Sciences. During this week, you can serve as a Welcome Week Leader where you will create a welcoming and inclusive environment on campus, lead a group of first-year students through activities, and facilitate discussions and community building within your group. 

Undergraduate research

Many students in CBS choose to get involved in undergraduate research. Participating in research can help you develop technical and critical thinking skills, gain a deeper understanding of science by applying concepts learned in the classroom to real world problems, and help you prepare for graduate school, health professions, or industrial research. Learn more about getting involved in research.