Students can engage in undergraduate research during the academic year for academic credit or as volunteers. Junior and Senior Biology majors can, after obtaining the permission of their prospective faculty mentor, register for Bio 493L-494L. One semester of research can count as an Upper Level Biology-elective while subsequent semesters count as free-electives. Students taking research for course credit are expected to put in at least 9 hours per week on their projects. The specific requirements will be detailed in the written course expectations form the student will receive from their faculty mentor in the first week of the semester. All students who take Bio 493L and/or Bio 494L are required to present the results of their research in poster form at the last Wednesday seminar in the spring semester.
Students who are doing very well academically (typically a GPA of over 3.5 in their major) can, with the permission of their faculty mentor, take Honors Research (Bio 493L HN1-493L HN1). This is open to students whether or not they are in the General Honors program. For General Honors students, one semester of Honors Research may count both as a Biology Upper Level elective and an Honors Distribution course. Students enrolled in Honors Research are expected to put in at least 12 hours per week on their project. They are also required to present their results in the form of a seminar during the spring semester of their senior year. All students completing the two semesters of Honors Research, giving the public seminar, and satisfying all other requirements, will receive Departmental Honors at graduation.
Any student can engage in research as a volunteer with the permission of their faculty mentor. There is no minimum number of hours expected per week and volunteers do not have to present their work in the spring, although they are encouraged to do so.