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Academic Credit for Research Experience

Download a Research Proposal Form (the most current form is available on the Undergraduate Studies Forms page)

The CBC Faculty encourage undergraduates to be involved in research.

Participation in research provides real experience in potential careers, develops mentoring relationships with faculty and other members of research groups, and is the best way to learn science. A detailed description of ongoing projects can be obtained on the department web pages.

Students may sign up for credit for working in research laboratories at any stage of their academic career.

Students are responsible for making their own arrangements. Signing up for credit for independent study requires the student to prepare a description of the proposed project and have a signed agreement by your research mentor.

Enrollment for research units is completed by a CBC advisor in Old Chemistry, 210, and requires a completed proposal form found on the Undergraduate Studies Forms Page.

  • 199, 299, 399, 499, 599, 699, 799* Independent Study: (Credit varies) Qualified students working on an individual basis with professors who have agreed to supervise such work. Grades available: S, P, F, I, W
  • 199H, 299H, 399H, 499H Independent Study - Honors: (Credit varies) Qualified students working on an individual basis with professors who have agreed to supervise such work. Grades available: A, B C, D, E, I, W
  • 392, 492 Directed Research: (Credit varies) Qualified students working on an individual basis with professors who have agreed to supervise such work. Students may register for a maximum of 12 directed research units. Grades available A, B, C, D, E, I
  • Graduate students doing independent work that cannot be classified as actual research will register for credit under course number 599, 699, or 799

1. Determination of credit: A minimum of 45 hours of course work for each unit of credit awarded.

2. The number of credits of Independent Study must be within the approved credit range listed in the catalog course description.

3. Expectations.At the beginning of the semester, the project advisor will explain to the student the expected learning outcomes of the directed research project; the expected scope of reading, lab or field work; the expected work products and the criteria to be used for evaluation and grading. 

The proposal form must be signed by the research advisor and the student and submtted to the Program Coordinator in the CBC advising office on the first day of classes (this is a departmental deadline).

Completion of graded research units requires a written report to be prepared by the student to be submitted to the research advisor. A copy of the report should be forwarded by the student to the CBC Undergraduate Advising Office. The report in general follows a scientific manuscript format, with length determined by the research advisor. 

The final letter grade for the graded research units is assigned by the instructor of record (i.e. the project advisor), taking into account the overall research performance of the student and the evaluation of the end-of-semester report.  

4. It is the policy of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry that students enrolled in an Independent Study course cannot be paid for the same hours as lab work. Therefore, academic credit can be awarded only for faculty-approved academic work as defined by department policy, whereas, paid laboratory work must follow university or programmatic policies for student employment.

5. Students should enroll within the first three weeks of the Fall and Spring Semesters or immediately after the beginning of Winter or Summer Sessions. Students must complete the required 45 hours of course work per credit unit before the last day of the term. The last day to register for Independent Study in Fall and Spring Semesters without incurring a late charge is the same as for all other courses. See University of Arizona information on Deadlines and Tuition and Fees - Late Payment Charge

6. If registration for an Independent Study course occurs after the twenty-first day of the regular semester, after the first two days of Winter Session or Pre-session, or after the first week of a Summer Session, the Department Chair (or designee) must sign the Change of Schedule form, in addition to the instructor.

7. If a grade of Incomplete is awarded for an Independent Study course at the end of the term, another Project Advisor must be identified who agrees to evaluate the student’s work, should the original Project Advisor become unavailable.

8. Questions: Contact an Academic Advisor (listed on the left)