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Quantifying Biology in the Classroom QBIC classes are small and integrated, offered at set times. For the first two years, QBIC is essentially a block-registered program as QBIC Scholars enroll in foundational courses such as biology, calculus, chemistry, ecology, genetics and statistics during their freshman and sophomore years. The junior and senior years offer a more flexible schedule of upper-division courses and funded research opportunities.

QBIC has been designed by FIU faculty to meet and exceed the mathematical and science requirements to earn a BS in Biological Sciences from FIU. QBIC is an official Quantitative Track in the Department of Biological Sciences as outlined in the Undergraduate Course Catalog.

Program Resources

  • QBIC Advising

    We highly recommend that QBIC Scholars seeking non-QBIC majors in addition to Biology, should seek advising from the department in which they are seeking a degree. You can find more information about advising at your department’s website.

    If you don’t know where to go, visit Exploratory Advising.

    QBIC Scholars seeking general or QBIC-specific advising should contact us at qbic@fiu.edu to make an appointment with a QBIC advisor. QBIC faculty and staff are also available for informal advising sessions, should our Scholars seek us out.

  • Tutors

    QBIC Scholars have QBIC-paid tutors available for QBIC classes. Tutors can accommodate one to five scholars per tutoring session, and make individual appointments personally.

    Tutors are entitled to refuse or cancel appointments (within reason). Please contact the QBIC Program Office for the email addresses of current tutors.

    If a scholar is not satisfied with a tutor, we ask that they please let QBIC staff know and try the other tutors available for the subject. QBIC staff will attempt to source more tutors upon request.

  • Events

    QBIC Scholars are sent email notices regarding conferences, seminars and other events of interest. The Department of Biological Sciences hosts many speakers, and we recommend that Scholars attend as many lectures as possible.

    Benefits of attending these lectures include:

    • Meeting scientists from outside of FIU
    • Establishing relationships with FIU faculty and classmates
    • Learning about current research at FIU and beyond
    • Summer Research Opportunities
  • Study Room

    The QBIC Study Room is currently GL 153. Only QBIC Scholars are allowed to use the study room, and entry access is restricted to QBIC program tutors and designated volunteers.

    In exchange for the extremely rare allotment of a room designated for undergraduate usage, FIU and QBIC ask that scholars:

    • Do not allow non-QBIC students the use of the room
    • Maintain the room in a clean and safe manner
    • Refrain from loud or disruptive behavior that could disturb the neighbors

    Failure to respect these requests, as evidenced by multiple complaints, will result in the culprit receiving a behavioral complaint. Behavioral complaints spanning multiple semesters result in revocation of the scholarship (if a recipient), and finally dismissal from QBIC.

  • Research Opportunities

    QBIC Scholars are encouraged to inquire about and participate in research before their junior year. The program provides the personal attention of faculty and staff, who are able to steer QBIC Scholars toward the many research programs and opportunities a large research institution such as FIU can offer.

    QBIC Scholars can possibly present their research at local and national conferences and even publish their work.

    Participating in research allows scholars to:

    • Acquire experience and make more educated decisions regarding their academic and career choices
    • Participate in projects that build their skill sets and professional network
    • Apply for prestigious summer programs that offer paid, out-of-state research opportunities
    • Improve their likelihood of being accepted into professional and graduate programs with an application bolstered by experience and personal letters of recommendation

    For advice on research, contact us at qbic@fiu.edu to make an appointment with a QBIC advisor. Opportunities include the FIU Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program.

  • QBIC Club

    The QBIC Club is an organization that aims to unite the undergraduate QBIC scholars. This objective will be accomplished by socials, hands-on activities and tours of research labs.

    Join the QBIC Club to meet students with similar interests.

Teaching Paradigm

The Teaching Pentagon is a pedagogical paradigm that drives QBIC’s integration strategy. It involves the merging of class syllabi so that QBIC Scholars experience immediate reinforcement and contextualization of the material.

In the Teaching Pentagon, the Required Biology Course for the semester drives the topic progression of the master syllabus.

  1. Lecture – First, QBIC Scholars learn biological concepts in general biology lecture.
  2. Lab – Then Scholars design experiments to test the concept in General Biology Lab.
  3. Journal Club –Scholars discuss cutting-edge science related to the concept in Journal Club.
  4. PLTL – Scholars reinforce the concept in a peer-led team learning (PLTL) session.
  5. Math – Finally, the data is collected in the lab and taken to the Scholars' sophomore statistics class for analysis.

Renowned organizations including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Institutes of Health, have concluded that:

"Thinking could produce significant advances in biological knowledge if undergraduate biology curricula are updated to incorporate mathematics, the physical and informational sciences, and statistics."

Undergraduate biological science programs in the United States need to be revised and improved; Undergraduates need to learn the importance of using tools from other disciplines to address biological science questions.

In response, FIU faculty in the biological sciences, mathematics, chemistry, statistics, physics, computer science and biomedical engineering departments designed an innovative new program for undergraduates pursuing careers in the biological sciences: Quantifying Biology in the Classroom.

QBIC enhances the quality of biological science education available to its scholars and functions as a pilot for eventual reforms to FIU's biological sciences undergraduate curricula.