The program is split into two parts: long-term project leadership and one-time community service events. Any Cornell undergraduate may participate in the one-time service events. The other parts of the program are limited to Biology Service Leaders, who are selected through a competitive application process in the fall semester. During the subsequent spring semester, Biology Service Leaders participate in leadership training and form small, focused groups that identify a local community partner in need of support. Focus groups work with their partners to design a long-term service learning project.
The following fall, BSL members will implement their long-term projects and will remain within BSL for a minimum of one year; members have the option to continue their project within BSL or branch out as a separate organization. BSL is advised by staff members from the Office of Undergraduate Biology in collaboration with the Public Service Center as well as by a group of experienced members who have completed projects and serve on the Advisory Board.