University of Vermont

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Biology


Guide to Research Courses

Here is a guide to research courses offered by the Biology Department. At the end of this introduction, you can find links for you to download full information and application materials for each of the courses. These links are also found on the general course listings for the department.

Biology research courses may be taken by students who are majors or minors within the Biology Department (Biology, Integrated Biological Science, Zoology, or Environmental Science). These students may work with any faculty member on campus, and in some cases, off-campus. Students who are not majors in the Biology Department may take a Biology research course if they work with a Biology Department faculty member.

All Biology research courses must involve biology research! Although important, research in human behavior, clinical practice, physical therapy, etc., may not qualify as biology research. One guideline to follow: Has the subject been covered in a Biology course such as BCOR 101, 102, or 103? Internships, though, are more flexible, so students must discuss Internship plans with the Biology Department research advisor (Dr. Jos. J. Schall, MLS 203,

How to find a research sponsor: The University Undergraduate Research Coordinator, Dr. Ann Kroll Lerner (Honors College offices; 509 University Heights, Rm. 017B;; 656-5533), helps students locate a lab. Here is a link to: “Office of Undergraduate Research”. Also, consider talking to instructors you have had, including graduate student lab instructors. Ask your friends who work in labs. Check the Biology Department website to learn the research programs of our faculty. Here is a link to the "Office of Undergraduate Research".

You are required to complete 32 credits in Biology (most students complete 33 credits to include a required advanced lab course). The maximum number of credits in Biology that you can use toward your 120 credit requirement for graduation is 45. Therefore, you may take another 12 credits of Biology, including research courses. Research credits do NOT count toward your three required advanced courses.

SPECIAL NOTE FOR BS STUDENTS (Biological Science, Zoology)
You are required to complete 45 (IBS-BS) or 46 (Zoology BS) credits in Biology, including 23 hours of advanced courses.

You may use up to 6 credits of Biology 197, 198, 297, 298 or Biology Honors 208/209 toward the 23 credits of required advanced courses. You may also want to take Biology 191/192 (Research Apprenticeship) before your Senior year (a good way to develop research skills) or Biology 193/194 (Internship) to gain experience working with an outside organization. However, Apprenticeship and Internship courses do NOT count toward your advanced course requirement.

Note that the maximum number of credits in Biology you can use toward your 120 credit requirement for graduation is 50. If you take 3 credits of Apprenticeship or Internship, you would have 48 or 49 credits in Biology (no problem). If you take 6 credits of Apprenticeship or Internship you would have 51 or 52 credits, which is over the 50 hour limit. YOU MAY STILL TAKE THE EXTRA RESEARCH CREDITS! If you go over the 50 hour limit, you just need to take extra credits outside the Biology Department and finish with more than the minimum 120 credits required for graduation. For example, if you take 6 credits of Apprenticeship, you could take an extra 3 credit course in Art, Psychology, etc. and graduate with 123 credits. This is not a major issue; many students graduate with more than the minimum number of credits. See you advisor to discuss this issue.


Students should carefully read the instruction packet available for each course from the links below, and follow the instructions given. Once a proposal has been submitted, and approved, an over-ride will be done and the student can register for the course. Note that research credits cannot be awarded after the student has already completed the project for which they are seeking the credits. That is, the research must be approved in advance and after submission of a proposal.

Remember, that PAPER copies of your application form with proposal are required. You give this material to Dr. J. Schall, MLS 203, or mailbox in the Biology Department office.

Biology 191/192 Research Apprenticeship (0 - 3 credits per semester)

Students step into an ongoing research program, working under the supervision of a faculty member, but perhaps helping a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow. The proposal states briefly the goals of the ongoing research, the role of the Apprentice in the project, and lists 6 to 10 new skills the student will develop during the semester. Such skills may include data collection, management of date on computer spreadsheets, statistical analysis, laboratory techniques such as PCR and cloning, and writing reports. Students may take a Research Apprenticeship during any semester, from their first year through Senior year.

Biology 193/194 Internship in Biology (3 credits each semester)

Most Internships are done off-campus, but may also be done on campus outside the Biology Department. Internships cannot be simply shadowing or "helping" at some organization. Instead, they must include an academic (learning) component similar to a Biology course. Also, the student must leave behind some influence on the organization, such as a new protocol, new data management system, etc. Internships are appropriate for Juniors and Seniors.

Biology 197/198 Undergraduate Research (3 or 6 hours per semester)

The student develops (with the guidance of a faculty member) a research project, including the hypothesis or hypotheses to be tested, model system to be used, and the methods to test the hypothesis. Some independence is required, but students always work closely with faculty members, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. The proposal must be a professional document, prepared with great care, and approved by the faculty sponsor. The student becomes a part of a research group in an active laboratory. A paper, in standard journal format, is required at the conclusion of the project. These courses are appropriate for Seniors, although occasionally a Junior may be approved to do Undergraduate Research.

Biology 297/298 Advanced Undergraduate Research (3 or 6 hours per semester)

Similar to Biology 197/198, except at a higher level of effort and maturity. Usually Seniors will take these courses. Students taking Advanced Undergraduate Research may start with a Research Apprenticeship or Undergraduate Research.

Honors (Biology 208/209)

Available only for students doing College Honors.

Course Websites:

Last modified February 07 2012 09:02 AM

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