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College of Arts and Sciences

CHEMISTRY 499

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH

Chemistry 499 provides a mechanism whereby undergraduate chemistry majors may participate in the research of the faculty and receive academic credit for that participation.  While CHM 499 is usually taken by students in their senior year, it may be taken by juniors if the sponsoring professor feels that the student has had sufficient course work or previous work experience to be able to handle the specific project in mind.

Students interested in CHM 499 should begin by reviewing the list of projects.  Following this, they should talk to the sponsoring professors about those projects which interest them to obtain further information about the projects and eventually reach a decision.

After the student and sponsoring professor agree on a project and the number of hours of credit, it is only necessary then to register for the course in the usual manner.  In this context, it should be kept in mind that three hours of laboratory work per week constitutes 1 hour of credit.  Hence, a student who elects 3 credit hours of CHM 499 should anticipate working 9 hours a week in the laboratory on his/her project.

At the end of the semester, two copies of a research report should be prepared, one for the instructor, and one to be kept on file in the Chemistry Office (specified by the American Chemical Society for accreditation purposes).  The title page of the research report must include the project title, the student=s and advisor=s names, and the semester and year enrolled in CHM 499.  The sponsoring professor has sole responsibility for determining the course grade.  Please indicate the course grade on the Chemistry Office copy of the report.  Should the work be published, the sponsoring professor will determine the extent of the student's contribution and, if appropriate, acknowledge the student's contribution in a footnote or else list the student as a co-author.

Some CHM 499 students may also choose to enroll in CHM 495, Seminar in Chemistry, either concurrently or subsequently, and give an oral presentation of their work.  It should be emphasized, however, that this is strictly optional.

A final note: 

A number of our chemistry graduates who took CHM 499 reported that they found it indispensable in obtaining a job or in getting started on research in graduate school.  Hence, it is highly recommended by the department as an elective.