The Biological Sciences Talent Advanced Program (BioTAP) is an invitation-only RAP for first-year Honors College students who are admitted as biological science majors.   

Invitation to BioTAP is based on criteria set by the Department of Biology, and is limited to 48 Honors College students. Once you receive your invitation, you must also APPLY to be accepted to the program AND enroll via How to Join  a RAP.     


Living and Learning Community 

You and a fellow BioTAP student will live in Sycamore Hall, one of the first-year residence halls in the Commonwealth Honors College Residential Community (CHCRC). 


BioTAP Benefits 

BioTAP is a wonderful opportunity to get to know other motivated biology, biochemistry, microbiology and life sciences majors, make lasting connections with faculty both in and outside of the classroom, and learn about the goals and opportunities available within biological sciences departments at the university.  

BioTAP students also have the advantage of working with upper-class mentors, who live in the same corridor and who provide academic and personal support. These mentors work closely with the BioTAP faculty and provide programming exclusively for BioTAP students. 


BioTAP Curriculum 

The BioTAP curriculum includes a first-year, full-year Honors biology course (BIO 161H), designed specifically for BioTAP students as well as an exclusive 1-credit seminar taught by experienced faculty members to help BioTAP students discover the invaluable resources and opportunities available at UMass Amherst.    


Application Process 

If you receive an invitation for BioTAP, please be aware that you must complete two important steps to secure your place in the BioTAP:  

  1. Complete the BioTAP application, included as part of your invitation.  

  1. Confirm your participation by following the steps outlined on the How to Join  a RAP page. 


BioTAP Course 

BIO 161H: Quantitative Biology of the Cell  

This is the first semester of a full-year course for students in the BioTAP program.  The lecture component of the course is a case-study-based learning environment, designed to acquaint the student with the fundamental principles and processes of biological systems. Subjects include the basics of chemistry pertinent to biology, biochemistry and cell biology, genetics and molecular biology.  The lab component of the course is a rigorous introduction to molecular biology techniques, as well as developing lab notebook writing skills and scientific reporting skills.