Undergraduate research in chemistry
The B.S. degree in chemistry has an undergraduate research component in which you have the opportunity to perform original research on a variety of exciting projects. Note that B.A. students may also take advantage of research opportunities.
Undergraduate research is not just another hoop to jump through. In many respects, undergraduate research is the most important part of your degree.
What are the requirements?
A minimum of one semester (two credits) of original research (more is encouraged) and submission of a research report that must be certified by a member of the chemistry department. However, remember that the first semester you do research cannot be the last semester before you graduate! Please plan ahead.
Ready to do research, but not sure how to go about finding a mentor? Contact Nancy Wu to learn more. Keep in mind, it is never too early to start. The more you do, the more it pays off!
Summer research benefits
A significant advantage in the job market
Original research hones problem-solving skills and introduces you to new techniques. Is this of interest to potential employers and postgraduate institutions? You bet! A letter from a professor who has worked closely with you in a research environment carries a lot more weight than letters from class profs. Sure, they can say you got an A, but can they say you made a major contribution to science?
You can receive federal work-study funding for undergraduate research (provided you qualify)
Now, you can't do this when you are receiving credit, but you only have to take one semester of credit. Hey, you have to work anyway, why not expand your horizons while you do?
A summer job
Show yourself to be a hotshot researcher and there is a good chance your advisor will reward you with a summer job in the lab and not washing glassware!
It's never too early to start!
Motivated students are encouraged to start sophomore or even freshman year! Students often find that the experience they gain from undergraduate research helps them to perform better in their classes.
More about undergraduate research
Already doing research that you love in another department? This can count towards the requirement providing: (a) you are doing original research, (b) have signed up for credit, and (c) have a chemistry faculty supervisor who will read and certify the research report.