Undergraduate Studies > Undergraduate Research


The Department of Chemistry has a very active undergraduate research program.  Students who wish to see how science really works should seriously consider doing research.  Many of our students actually do enough work at the University to put their names on research publications.  Check out the list under “Undergraduate Publications” to see what is being done.

Students interested in Undergraduate Research have several options and resources to help them find and conduct research.  One important thing to keep in mind is that students can do research for chemistry credit but the research does not have to be done in the Chemistry Department.  For example, you can register for CHEM 3951 but your research can be done in the Department of Pharmacology.  Successful completion of two semesters (6 credits) of undergraduate research would also satisfy the research requirement needed for ACS Certification.  To find a lab that you might be interested in working in go to “UVA Participating Faculty“.

1. Courses

There are one-credit seminars (CHEM 3910, 3920) that introduce students to research opportunities and teach tools useful in research and in courses.

2. Research for Credit

Students may do research over multiple semesters.  The research can be conducted with any research laboratory at UVA (including the School of Medicine), but is registered through the Chemistry Department. Students just getting starting should sign up for 3951 for their first semester.  Register for CHEM 3961 for the second semester; CHEM 4951 for the third semester; CHEM 4961 for the fourth and additional semesters.  These courses can be repeated if you have more than 4 semesters of research. The professor for the course is Linda Columbus, not your faculty mentor. The number of hours required should be discussed with your mentor; however, typically research for credit is at least a 10 hour a week commitment.

3. Summer Research

UVA Chemistry students can conduct research in laboratories on campus, in the United States, or in foreign countries. Typically students are paid during the summer. Credit for the major is not given for summer research.