The Sky is the Limit: LC for Students Interested in the Life Sciences

Majors Eligible to Join

Primarily for Biology and Genetics majors, but open to all students interested in exploring careers in the life sciences, including Biochemistry, Environmental Science, and Open Option.

Program Description

BIOL/GEN113X is taught in the Spring to students in their first year at ISU (freshmen or transfer students).

BIOL/GEN114 is taught in the Fall to students in their second year at ISU (recent transfer students and interested first-year students also welcome).

Note: students are not required to have taken BIOL/GEN113X in order to enroll in BIOL/GEN114.

Do you want to:

  • Get to know new friends in a small classroom setting (40 students or less) while exploring careers in the life sciences?
  • Make connections with peer mentors who are knowledgeable and who remember what it was like to be new at Iowa State?
  • Develop academic and professional skills that will enable a successful Iowa State experience now and launch you into your future?
  • Have the ability to shape your learning community experiences based on your own interests and goals?
  • Participate in small group activities that engage you with students and professionals who are already pursuing careers that interest you?

You can achieve all these things and more by meeting for just two hours per week throughout the spring and/or fall semester in these low-effort, high-reward, one-credit, pass/not pass (P/NP) courses!

BIOL/GEN113X – 1cr, P/NP, Spring:

This course will help you discover where your interests lie within the life sciences, with a particular focus on Biology and Genetics. It will provide you with opportunities to explore different career paths through interactions with more senior students, faculty, and leaders outside academia. Activities will include workshops to develop professional skills, visits to labs on campus and conversations with the faculty, graduate students, and staff, and field trips to facilities both on and off campus (e.g. the ISU Research Park). It is also a great way to find study buddies for first-year life sciences courses and create long-lasting connections with other students who share similar interests with you.

BIOL/GEN114X – 1cr, P/NP, Fall:

This course is split into four sections, each of which gives students the opportunity to explore and get hands-on experience in a specific topic within the life sciences. Options include:

  1. Save Planet Earth. An environmentally-themed section where students learn and connect via hands-on sustainability and conservation projects, as well as field trips to research sites around Ames.
  2. Helping People: The Health Care Career Spectrum. Learn about the myriad of healthcare-related career options and meet with practicing professionals.
  3. Exploring the Secret Life of Cells. Learn how basic cell biology research in different organisms can help us improve our world in areas such as medicine, agriculture, and technology. Experiences include hands-on lab activities and visits to research labs around campus.
  4. Decoding the Genetic Mechanisms of Metabolism and Aging. Obtain authentic research experience and learning opportunities using cutting-edge genetic and cell biology approaches. Interrogate cellular metabolism, aging, and age-related diseases.

Bonus: Join study teams for Principles of Genetics and Organic Chemistry I

Living Options


Signing up

Students will have an opportunity to register for this learning community during class registration.


Photo of Corinna Most

Dr. Corinna Most