Research Opportunities

Interested in undergraduate research opportunities in the Department of Chemistry? Follow these steps:

  1. Pick a subject. Chemistry research usually falls into one of the five classic areas of chemistry: Organic, Inorganic, Analytical, Physical, and Biological. Your General Chemistry courses were a combination of all these topics, and your advanced chemistry courses cover each topic in more depth. Think about which courses you’ve enjoyed most to help you figure out what kind of research you might like. You should also review the web pages of professors in the department to read about research projects that are active in their group.
  2. Meet with a professor. Decide which discipline (or project) might be of most interest to you, and communicate with a faculty member in that discipline via email, phone, or in-person. Let the professor know of your interest in undergraduate research, and talk about whether you can join his/her group. Try to do this well before pre-registration!
  3. Write a research plan. With your professor, decide on your research objectives and plan how much time you will spend each week working on your new project. It’s probably best to start off in Chem 4515.
        Course Credit Hours Hours / week
    you will work
    CHEM 4515 1 3
    CHEM 4516 2 6
    CHEM 4517 3 9
  4. Register. The professor supervising your research will request a seat for you in one of the classes listed above. There isn’t a set meeting time; you should set up a weekly schedule with your professor.
  5. Write a paper. Every student participating in undergraduate research is required to write a research paper at the end of the semester. The paper does not have page length restrictions, but typically runs between 3 and 7 pages. It should clearly describe the objective, methods and results of the research that was conducted and be written in the scientific format with literature citations, figures, and tables as appropriate (your research mentor will provide guidance).