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...

    The MMG department is without question one of the best programs offered at UVM. I switched from biochemistry to molecular genetics at the end of my first semester of freshman year and it's the best decision I could have made for my undergraduate career. I feel like the specificity of the MMG program allowed me to really develop my interests and provide me with a direction in my studies that other majors can't provide. The MMG curriculum offers a variety of classes that appeal to a wide range of interests, from molecular cloning to mammalian cell culture to clinical microbiology. Although the classes are challenging, teachers and classmates are always happy to help. The small class sizes have allowed me to build relationships with my teachers and classmates and form life-long friendships. Since we’re such a small major, whenever you meet a fellow MMGer on campus you immediately form a bond! The professors make an effort to get to know you as an individual and they are incredibly supportive and helpful. They'll help you with anything from homework to deciding which classes to take. They will do anything to make sure you succeed. In MMG you'll have the opportunity to explore fascinating aspects of microbiology and molecular genetics and learn valuable skills for success after college. You'll also have a great time doing it! I feel like the knowledge and experience I've gained over the last few years has not only prepared me for a career in science, but sets me above fellow job and graduate school applicants. Being an MMGer has been an incredible experience for me. I'm so grateful to all of the faculty and classmates that have made my 4 years here so wonderful!

    Keri (Molecular Genetics), graduated 2015