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Undergraduate Program

Independent Research

Biological Sciences 395 Courses

Our independent research courses allow undergraduates to gain research experience in the laboratories of biological science labs on the River Campus or at the Medical Center for academic credit during the fall and spring semesters.

Students have the ability to take this course for four, three, or two credits. Students in the four-credit course must work a minimum of ten hours per week (on average).

Students taking the course will need to:

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Find a Research Mentor

Before registering for the course, students will need to find a faculty mentor who works in their area of interest and will agree to instruct a research course. Once a research mentor is found, students will need to go through the process of registering the course within the first two weeks of the semester.

The research used in these courses must be rooted within the biological sciences and be non-clinical in nature. Although some scientific arguments may be inspired through clinical studies, we expect that the proposed research will yield data from experimentation that involves laboratory and/or computational methods for further analysis.

The research must be conducted under the supervision of a faculty research mentor who is a member of the University’s “teaching faculty”.

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Registration Process

Step 1: Develop course description with research mentor

Before filling out any forms, meet with your course instructor and come to an agreement with respect to the following course details:

  • Course prefix (determined by where the course instructor is housed)Credits

    • Common course prefixes:
      • BIO: Biology
      • BCH: Biophysics and Biochemistry
      • MBI: Microbiology and Immunology
      • NSC: Neuroscience
      • PHP: Pharmacology and Physiology
      • PTH: Pathology
      • IND: Interdepartmental (departments that are affiliated with the University, but that do not offer courses through the College or the School of Medicine and Dentistry)
  • Start date

  • Title (28 characters max including spaces)

  • Course objectives and learning outcomes (250 characters max)

  • Laboratory techniques* (250 characters max)

  • Criteria for how you will be graded (250 characters max)

  • Exposures to biohazards/note any safety training (250 characters max)

  • Obtain instructor’s permission code

    • If instructor does not know their permission code, please have them contact the Registrar’s Office
  • Please note that IPC codes are changed each semester

* Clinical research cannot be registered as a 395 course. Clinical research is typically registered as a 391 course which does not need to go through the UPBM office.  Students should visit the online CCAS Independent Study Form to register a 391 course.

Step 2: Fill out online UPBM Pre-Registration Form

Two instructor’s permission codes (IPC) are needed to register biological science independent research (395) courses.  The first IPC is obtained through the faculty member who has agreed to instruct the course.  The second is received through the UPBM online pre-registration.  Submit the information from the course description (see above) and provide three dates and times should a meeting be required to further discuss the project.  The UPBM office will follow-up with the second IPC and further details complete the registration process.  

Step 3: Fill out and submit the CCAS Independent Study Form

Once approved, students will need to register the course with the college by filling out the online CCAS Independent Study Form, adding the additional department chair information from the UPBM office, and then click “Submit” at the bottom of the page.

Deadlines for Fall 2018

Please note that the deadlines for biological science independent research courses are different from what is published on the CCAS Independent Study website.  

4 Credit 395 Courses:
Must start course by Friday 9/7
Submit Online UPBM Pre-Registration form by Friday 9/14
Submit Online CCAS Independent Study form by Wednesday 9/19

3 Credit 395 Courses:
Must start course by Friday 9/28/18
Submit Online UPBM Pre-Registration form by Friday 10/5
Submit Online CCAS Independent Study form by Wednesday 10/10

2 Credit 395 Courses:
Must start course by Friday 10/12
Submit Online UPBM Pre-Registration form by Friday 10/19
Submit Online CCAS Independent Study form by Wednesday 10/24

Late Paperwork
If the deadline for UPBM approval is missed, the course instructor will be required to email the UPBM office to confirm that the course has started prior to the submission deadlines and has been meeting regularly.  Pre-registration forms will not be accepted after the 10th week of classes.

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Course Requirements

All 395 students are required to write and submit a final report or a poster.  If the student is going to satisfy upper-level writing credit then a final report will need to be written.  A poster will not be accepted for 395w courses.   It is the student’s responsibility to compose and upload the report through Blackboard by the last day of exams of the current semester.

The final report or poster is intended to be a summary of research done over the course of the semester. Length, content, and format of the final report are at the mentor’s discretion. Please note that even if the research produces inconclusive results or is unfinished, a summary reporting results thus far is still required.

A student will not be able to register for another research course until their final report has been handed in. Please be sure to put your name on the final report and upload it to Blackboard as a PDF.

Final reports of research courses that are registered as upper-level writing (395w) are expected to undergo a series of edits and rewrites that would ideally be done with their faculty mentor incrementally throughout the semester so that the student may benefit from the writing experience.

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