MARC is a training program, not a scholarship. Our goal is to have our students be as prepared as possible for doctoral program entry. As a result, when a student enters MARC, we will help them to plan their next two years, ultimately leading to the graduate school interviews and acceptance. See the MARC Individual Development Plan.

MARC students complete coursework and participate in activities that are designed to enhance their educational experience and improve their chance of gaining admission into premiere doctoral programs. They are from a number of fields, but all are required to gain an understanding of basic biological concepts and how their field intersects with the biological or behavioral sciences. The major program activities are included below.

Required Activities


  • Biology I or Biosciences for non-majors
  • Two semesters of Honors Research credit (similar to Independent Study) in their major (6 credits total): BIO 4993, CHEM 4993, CS 4993, EGR 4993 (for BME unless BME 4993 is developed), MAT 4993, PHY 4993, PSY 4993, or STA 4993
  • University Sponsored Responsible Conduct in Research, Laboratory Safety, and Compliance activities

In addition, all trainees should complete:

  • Statistics or equivalent
  • Upper division courses pertinent to the focus of their laboratory (Biophysics, Biochemistry, etc.)

We believe that these additional courses will enhance student preparation for doctoral programs in the biological, chemical, or biologically-oriented computational sciences, without creating an overwhelming burden on students who are already carrying a heavy course load. Most, if not all, of these courses will be counted towards the individual student's degree program.

Thesis or Master Work

All MARC students are required to complete a complete a MARC thesis or substantial contribution (including writing) of a scientific publication. Those creating a thesis will create it in the form of a graduate thesis (although shorter); examples are provided. Briefly, this will involve the creation of a manuscript that describes the student's research project. The format will be identical to that of an Honors Thesis and can also be used for College of Sciences Distinction in Research (for other colleges, check their requirements). See an extensive thesis description. Receipt of the final stipend check is conditional on submission of the thesis.

MARC Weekly Sessions

Approximately once weekly, MARC trainees will gather for training, networking, or psychosocial wellness sessions.


All students are expected to work at least 16 hours during the school year and full time (40 hours) in the summer. Limited summer classes are allowed subject to permission by the program director and your research mentor. In summer, if you will be taking two courses, please take one non-lab class during the day and one in the evening/weekends...or both in the evenings. Do NOT take horribly difficult courses in the summer. At least once, prior to graduation, students must attend an off-campus Summer Research Program, preferably one that is at a graduate school that the student may wish to attend. See more information about summer internships.


MARC trainees are encouraged to take positions of leadership in student organizations, and to receive training through engagement with the UTSA Leadership and Volunteer Services. Leadership experience is very important for a student who hopes to be awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Conference Attendance

All MARC trainees attend at least two conferences prior to graduation. The first is either SACNAS or ABRCMS, two student-oriented conferences where participants have the opportunity to learn additional professional development topics, are introduced to a variety of fields of interest for graduate study, and network with graduate schools/summer program managers. The second is a professional conference with their research mentor. In addition, MARC trainees participate in a variety of on-campus opportunities to present.


There are a number of other activities in which MARC students participate, including but not limited to graduate school application, mock interviews, StrengthsQuest assessment, and various evaluation activities.