Independent Study

The chemistry department encourages students to engage in independent research during the academic year, which may be in the form of independent or advanced independent study or an honors research project.
Intermediate or advanced independent study provide opportunities to undertake a research experience for credit. Students may enroll in intermediate (CHEM2900-level) or advanced (CHEM4000-level) independent study.  Generally, students enroll at the advanced level when they have completed four 2000-level chemistry classes or have engaged in summer research.
Both intermediate (CHEM 2900-level) or advanced (CHEM 4000-level) independent study are designed to provide an experience that will integrate your scientific background, develop your ability to explore scientific questions independently, and present scientific information in ways that might include oral presentation and/or written reports. Independent study may investigate laboratory or literature-based topics.


Rick Reaction

Advanced (CHEM 4000-level) independent study project carry elevated expectations for independent work.  If conducted in the senior year, this advanced work may be recognized as an honors CHEM 4050-level) research project.

Independent Study Objectives:       

  1. develop research goals and objectives
  2. perform a literature review of your research area as needed
  3. design appropriate experiments to reach your goals and objectives
  4. conduct well-planned experiments
  5. analyze your data to understand and interpret your results
  6. present your findings in poster, oral and or written formats
For literature-based projects you will work only on Objectives 1-2 and 6.
Intermediate and advanced independent study students may also chose to participate in workshops required of honors research students.  Talk to your advisor about whether these workshops would be useful/relevant to your work.
If you are interested in academic year research, you should start by making connections with faculty members to learn about research opportunities. You can use faculty web pages to learn more about ongoing research and then, reach out to faculty members and ask to meet. We always love talking to students about our research projects! Make sure you provide some lead time before course registration.