Biomedical and behavioral science (BBS) FAQ

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Q: What is biomedical and behavioral science (BBS) research?

A: Scientific research in any field that informs and improves human health.

Q: Who does BBS research?

A: Biologists, Chemists, Physicists Engineers, Computer Scientists, Psychologists, Educators, Mathematicians…and more! Furthermore, the efforts are often collaborative and multidisciplinary.

Q: If I join SI Bridges, what should I study while I am at John A. Logan College or Shawnee Community College?

A: There are many paths to becoming a BBS researcher, and we encourage you to pursue an academic path that best fits your interests and goals. Generally speaking, we strongly encourage you to take as many advanced science and mathematics courses as possible. These courses will help you succeed in the SI Bridges program and in your career as a researcher. Contact us for help with academic planning.

Q: What should be my major at SIU?

A: Your two years at SIU will be when you specialize and focus on your major, i.e. your main field of study. There are many paths to success in BBS research. However, we encourage students interested in BBS research to obtain a strong background in what are known as STEM disciplines, i.e. Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Mathematics. Because the behavioral sciences are also important in the program, psychology and related disciplines are also appropriate.

Essentially one can study many fields in a manner that focuses on informing and improving human health, which is the essence of BBS. For instance, if you study human biology, physiology or microbiology, you are studying a BBS field. However, studying biology with a focus on zoology or ecology would not be considered BBS.

Other disciplines are similar. If you study general computer science, you probably won't be studying a BBS field. However, if you focus on bioinformatics - an interdisciplinary scientific field that develops methods for storing, retrieving, organizing and analyzing biological data - then you are studying a BBS field. Studying biological physics or biological engineering would be BBS-focused approaches to physics and engineering, respectively.

Visit this link to explore majors of study at SIU.

Q: What if I want to study pre-medicine or nursing?

A: Generally speaking, programs in pre-health professions or nursing train you to be a practitioner. Therefore, we encourage SI Bridges students to pursue a program that will offer a stronger focus on research in the respective field of study.

Q: What kinds of jobs are available for those who study BBS?

A: The jobs are plentiful and generally pay very well. Visit our Career Opportunities page for more information about careers in BBS research.

Q: Will I have the opportunity to make a difference as a BBS researcher?

A: Absolutely! As a BBS researcher, you could potentially be involved in finding cures for diseases, understanding psychological disorders, developing medical devices or new pharmaceuticals and more!