UCLA attracts highly talented and qualified undergraduate students, many of them declaring a STEM major as first-year students. Unfortunately, we know that nationally about 60% of all STEM intended majors do not graduate with STEM degrees. At UCLA students across all demographics also leave STEM majors. There are many reasons for this, but one identified area of concern is lack of exposure to the diverse career options for life science majors. Many students focus on careers in medicine and academia, unaware of other public and private sector options (many of them quite lucrative) in so many other areas such as industry research, policy, regulation, public health pharmaceuticals, technology, and more.

This course is designed to provide students with a systematic approach to the career development process. This process helps students take into account their own interests, values, skills, and personality as guiding elements as they figure out the best career pathway. Simultaneously, students learn about diverse professional options and are better equipped to make decisions about their career path based on their self-assessment and resources provided in the course. Guest speakers will expose multiple pathways to STEM careers throughout the quarter.

LS 110 Transfer students share about their experience

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This 2-credit upper division course is offered for all students winter and spring and transfers students only in fall.

This is an online course; weeks 1 and 6-10 are synchronous sessions, meeting live on zoom on Tuesday’s from 4- 5:50 pm, weeks 2-5 are asynchronous. Students meet with their affinity groups weekly, either in person or on zoom.

What is LS 110?

  • An invaluable opportunity to spend time reflecting on your personality, interests, values and skills to find a pathway that fits with YOU
  • Plan for internship opportunities and post-undergraduate school
  • Create a STEM resume, cover letterLinked In Profile and complete informational interviews with STEM Professionals
  • Guest speakers will introduce you to a variety of STEM careers
  • Meet with your Affinity Group based on your career interests

Click here to view the Informational Flyer


This course is ideal for any life science student, although we particularly encourage first, second year and transfer students to get started on their career planning early. All students are welcome to enroll especially if:

  • You are pre-med, and want reassurance you are on the right path
  • You have no idea what career is a match for you, and want exposure to diverse STEM careers.
  • You want help planning for internship opportunities or post-undergraduate school applications.
  • You want to practice skills to help with career planning and decision making

LS 110 Alumni students share about their experience


LS 110 FAQ

We work with UCLA alumni and current faculty and staff to bring in speakers from both within UCLA as well as from industries in the region.

Career pathways covered by guest speakers will vary by quarter. Past speakers have presented on careers in the following:

  • Diverse Careers in Medicine
  • Diverse Careers in Healthcare
  • Environmental Health Sciences
  • Clinical Laboratoty Science
  • Forensic Science
  • Epidemiology Health Policy and Management
  • Nutrition Science
  • Life Science Consulting
  • Policy, NGOs, and other state and federal roles

Students in the course will take the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI), an interest assessment, a skills inventory assessment, and a values assessment. This combination of validated tools will help students clarify their own personal preferences when exploring career options.

YES! If you want reassurance that medicine is the right track for you, or you are interested in keeping your options open by exploring diverse career options then this course will be valuable. However, if you are looking for a course that only focusses on preparing you for medical school, then this may not be the right fit.

If you have questions, please contact Dr. Rachel Kennison at rkennison@ceils.ucla.edu and she will be happy to help you assess whether or not this course will be a good fit.

Dr. Rachel Kennison is the course instructor, and she is happy to connect with students who are interested in learning  more about the course. You can contact Dr. Kennison at rkennison@ceils.ucla.edu.

Please contact the course instructor, Dr. Rachel Kennison at rkennison@ceils.ucla.edu. We base the scheduling of future quarters on student feedback, and we appreciate your feedback on what times will work best.