Undergraduate Research Projects

Guidelines: MMG 197/198; 297/298


Undergraduate research course work should be considered just as any other course within the Department. The Course Director is defined as the faculty member responsible for guiding the student’s research. The Course Director is expected to make clear to the student what the expectations are with respect to the particular project and its scope. The student must be informed of each of the parameters described below prior to initiating the project. The student’s Academic Advisor should also be informed of these expectations. The Student, Course Director, and Academic Advisor are required to sign the Undergraduate Research Proposal Cover Sheet and return the signed form to the Undergraduate Program Director at the beginning of the semester.  Here’s a list of past undergraduate research projects.  Projects may be eligible for CALS Distinguished Undergraduate Research (DUR) Honors should the student choose to submit them to the CALS Academic Awards Committee (see CALS DUR Guidelines).

Course Credits :

Course credits will be assigned in accordance with University guidelines, which assume that students should work 3-4 hours per week for 1 research credit. It is understood that a particular research project undertaken may require more time than that allotted and, should this be the case, the student and the Course Director may discuss the awarding of additional credit.

Completion of Projects:

There are two requirements for this course at the end of the semester: (1) the student must either write a research paper including: an Introduction to the research area, a Materials and Methods section, a Results and Discussion section, and a References section, or produce a research poster that will be displayed outside the lab or on the MMG Undergraduate Bulletin Board (Stafford, First Floor); and (2) the student must orally present his/her results at a lab meeting or a regular Departmental seminar (choice is the discretion of the Course Director).


Assignment of grades is the responsibility of the Course Director (grades will be given to Douglas Johnson, Director of the Undergraduate Program, during Final Exam week). The grade will be assigned in accordance with the expectations agreed upon between the student and the Course Director and should take into account the student’s performance within the lab (i.e., reliability, work ethic, interest level, etc.), the student’s research paper/poster, and the student’s oral presentation. Grades should not be assigned solely on amount of research productivity.

2012 MMG Grads

  • What our students have to say...

    I was drawn into the program by looking at the statistics about the students on the wall. The group of Molecular Genetics majors were a highly successful group after graduation. A high percentage of them were going to graduate school, or medical school, or were working great jobs. I picked this as a major because I wanted to be like those kids. I think that the title "molecular genetics" sounds intimidating. Although, believe it or not, I have to say the courses aren't that hard. They are significantly easier than neuroscience courses, and I speak from experience. The courses take you step by step, starting out with baby steps, and you build on your knowledge base for the four years. In that way, the program is well designed. Also, the courses aren't just static information, what you learn is relevant and on the new frontiers of science. We learned about the Ebola virus, and about other pandemics.

    Amy (Molecular Genetics), graduated 2016