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

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    Once I decided to attend UVM I spent a lot of time choosing a major. I knew I wanted to study science, but I was unsure of what career I wanted to pursue in the future. The MMG curriculum was a perfect match for me and left a lot of options open after graduation, both in getting a job in a scientific field or pursuing further education. I chose to apply to dental school and found that the molecular genetics curriculum fulfilled all my requirements and also made me a strong applicant. The small size of the MMG department and the approachability of the professors allowed me to get outstanding advice on which classes to take as well as which extracurricular activities to participate in. Burlington has been an amazing place to spend the last four years. The city itself has a lot to offer and as an outdoor enthusiast I enjoyed nearby mountain bike trails, made frequent trips to ski resorts, and spent a lot of time in and on Lake Champlain.

    Brandon (Molecular Genetics), graduated 2012