Undergraduate Research

Department of Biology

Apply what you have learned

The Department of Biology strives to produce scientifically literate graduates who display robust knowledge of basic principles across a broad spectrum of biological principles and places a high value on the laboratory and field experience in the education of all students. Towards this end, we strongly encourage students to engage in scientific research and professional internships under the direct supervision of a member of the biology faculty. While participating in a research project, students develop critical thinking skills, practice and perform independent inquiry activities, and and gain experience effectively communicating their discoveries. There are many opportunities for undergraduates to assist in faculty research or develop their own independent research project. Students can also earn academic credit through BIOL 497: Special Studies and BIOL 498: Biology Internship courses.

Why participate in research?

Research experience benefits you, the student, by enhancing your collegiate learning experience, building your resume, introducing you to the methodology of modern science, and teaching you how scientists apply classroom concepts in practical real-world investigations. It also gives you the opportunity to build a relationship with a professor you admire, which provides the basis for great letters of recommendation. Perhaps most importantly, it helps you decide whether biology is truly the best career choice for you. The faculty in the Department of Biology conduct research in many aspects of biological science. Click on the link below to view the kinds of research our faculty conduct and feel free to contact them about their current projects. Your adviser should also be able to answer any questions you might have about getting started on the exciting journey that is the undergraduate research project.

Program for Undergraduate Research Experience

Coordinator: Dr. Tamatha Barbeau

PURE is a program that helps provide students information about research in the Department of Biology, including the types of student research completed in previous semesters and also current research opportunities available.

Each semester we host a PURE Symposium on campus, where motivated student researchers can present their results. Participation in this symposium is optional, but strongly encouraged. Fellow students and faculty attend the symposium to learn more about the various ongoing research projects in the department. It also provides a great opportunity to give a scientific presentation (which also goes on your resume), become more comfortable with speaking professionally in a public setting, and explain with confidence the results of your scientific work.