Undergraduate Research

The Department of Chemistry has a very active undergraduate research program.  Research facilitates experiential learning and demonstrates the nature of science.  Many of our students conduct research for three or more years and their work has resulted in publications.  Check out the “Undergraduate Publications” list to see what UVA chemistry majors are researching.

Students interested in Undergraduate Research have several options and resources to help them find and conduct research. The Office of Undergraduate Research and UVA Career Center have some great suggestions..

One important thing to keep in mind is that students can conduct research for chemistry credit in almost any department with almost any faculty member as long as it is a scientific research experience. 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. Students may do research over multiple semesters.  Students just getting started 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 Laura Serbulea, not your faculty mentor.

Once you find a research lab to work in, students should register for 3 credits and work 10 hours/week in the laboratory. Less credit is an option and should be discussed with your faculty research mentor. Typically, students that conduct research for 5-7 hours/week would register for 2 credits and for less than 5 hours, 1 credit. If a student is registering for less than 3 credits then they should enroll in CHEM 3951 regardless of how many semesters of research they have conducted.

The Department of Chemistry does not award credit for research done outside of UVA, nor do we award credit for research for which a student is paid. 

Research Credit Requirements

How do I find a research lab