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Department of Biology

Undergraduate Research Information

The Department of Biology offers an opportunity to complete an undergraduate research experience in the B.S. degree in biology. The department has been at the front in a national trend to provide such experiences for undergraduate students. The purpose of the undergraduate research experience is to better develop critical thinking and those intellectual and technical skills associated with planning, executing, and communicating research discoveries. If you have questions regarding undergraduate research contact a Biology professor. If you need ideas, inspiration, or information on which professor to contact, see the Student Research page.

BIOL 4391 (Research or Internship Proposal)

Students may (and are encouraged to) work on and complete a proposal during earlier semesters. By midterm of the semester in which a student is enrolled in BIOL 4391, the student must submit a signed form indicating an approved research topic, the name of a mentor, and the name of a reader to the BIOL 4391 instructor. If they have not accomplished this by midterm, they will be dropped from the class and receive a WF. Students should submit a first draft of their proposal well before the end of classes. Faculty members are not required to read papers submitted after the end of classes. IP's should be granted only in cases where the student has made good progress. Students who have not submitted a draft proposal before classes end will receive an F. Students receiving an IP have one semester to complete the proposal or the grade converts to an F.

  • NOTES: Once the signed form is submitted, the student is also subject to the specific guidelines of the mentor. This is not a repeatable course if the student has an "IP"

BIOL 4392 (Undergraduate Research)

At midterm, the instructor of record for BIOL 4391 will submit to the department head a list of student names, research topics, and mentors. The department head will create personalized sections for each student. Students who have not received a grade in BIOL 4391 may not enroll in 4392. BIOL 4392 sections may be set up in the fall, spring, or summer semesters. Summer semester sections are available only with the agreement of the mentor. IP's are at the discretion of the instructor.

BIOL 4393 (Research Presentation)

A student may not enroll in BIOL 4393 during the same semester as enrolled in BIOL 4392. BIOL 4393 may be offered in the fall or spring semester, but not in the summer. Research presentations made on campus must be made in the research methods class during the last two weeks of the course. Arrangements to present must be made with the undergraduate research mentor and the coordinator of undergraduate research.