Microbiology is an experimental science, and the best way to understand microbiological principles and concepts is to become actively involved in research. The Microbiology department encourages students to become actively involved in an undergraduate research project in the laboratory of a Microbiology Department Faculty member. Undergraduate research experience will benefit you whether you are interested in graduate school, professional school, or getting a microbiology-related job directly after graduation.
Below, we have provided information about research opportunities that are available to our undergraduates. We encourage you to explore these opportunities.
Please contact the Microbiology Undergraduate Advisor if you have questions about these or other programs. A student who is interested in research opportunities should follow these steps:
- Many labs in our department accept undergraduate students but availability of space and projects for undergraduate research are changing every quarter. Students are encouraged to contact faculty members directly to inquire about research opportunities available
- E-mail the faculty member to set up an appointment to talk about research opportunities in their lab. If the Faculty member agrees to have you in their lab, you can discuss scheduling your research hours, start date and number of credits taken.
- Enroll in Microbiology 4998. Students usually sign up for 1 to 3 credit hours of research per semester. Each credit is approximately 4 hours per week in a lab.
- Here are some examples of previous and ongoing undergraduate research projects.
Points to remember
- Undergraduate research is a serious commitment. Faculty members are often only interested in having students who can commit to at least two quarters of research.
- You need to set up your research project a quarter ahead of time. For example, if you want to start research in winter quarter, you need to get everything arranged in the fall quarter.
- While research is important to your education, so is doing well in your classwork. Therefore we recommend that you only consider undergraduate research if you have a grade point average of 3.0 or better.
Seniors have the option to enroll in Microbiology 4998H, which involves a written thesis. To find out more about this program, contact the Undergraduate Honors Advisor.
Summer research experience
Exciting research opportunities are available at universities across the country for students to participate in summer research experience programs. More information on these programs can be found at: http://www.nsf.gov/home/crssprgm/reu/start.htm.