Research can begin as early as the completion of your freshman year. The majority of students under the direction of a faculty member are rising juniors and seniors.
How do I start?
Visit the faculty website and read about their research. Pick 2-3 professors who have an interest similar to your own.
Send them an email and ask to set up a meeting to discuss their research and options for working with them.
Choose a research professor who has indicated they are interested and inform them of your decision.
Discuss your research options with the professor.
What are the benefits?
Better informed career decisions
Publications in refereed journals
Travel to professional meetings and presentation of research results
Development of critical thinking skills and independent thought
Exposure to laboratory techniques, chemical literature and development of communication skills
What are my options?
- Summer Undergraduate Research Program (URP): Since 1986, the Department of Chemistry has conducted summer research funded by the Grote Chemistry endowment. This outstanding program pairs students with faculty working in partnership for 10 weeks. Students receive a substantial stipend, participate in weekly seminars, and are awarded a travel stipend to present their results at a professional meeting. URP students take CHEM 4997 or 4995 the following semester. The application process for the following summer URP begins in October.
- Take Research for University Credit
- CHEM or PHYS 4997: this research class is usually taken in the fall or spring semester. For two credits hours of work, students are expected to commit 6 hours of laboratory work per week. At the end of the term, students present their results in written form and/or orally at a special departmental seminar.
- CHEM or PHYS 4995: similar to 4997, this class leads to a departmental honors thesis which is defended before the student’s faculty committee. When approved, Departmental Honors is awarded to the student.
- Any interest in research (CHEM or PHYS and either research 4997 or honors research 4995)
begins with conversation(s) with faculty who might be able to direct a project of mutual interest.
Departmental Honors CHEM 4995 and PHYS 4995
- All rules, procedures, dates, and forms for departmental honors are available at
https://www.utc.edu/honors-college/departmental-honors Policies and procedures governing
Departmental Honors are outlined in the Honors College's Departmental Honors Manual.
To help students understand the basic process, below are just a few items from this manual to
help students understand the basic process.
- Any student (normally a junior-level student) seeking to earn Departmental Honors must apply
for admission to candidacy no later than three semesters prior to the intended date of graduation.
For example, a student intending to graduate at the end of a Spring term must apply for
admission to candidacy no later than the previous Spring term.
- To apply, students must: Meet minimum GPA requirements for departmental honors (3.2 UTC
GPA) or highest honors (3.5 major GPA). Complete and submit digital copies of a thesis
proposal and the “Application for Admission to Candidacy” (See Appendix A) with all required
signatures to the Honors College by the deadline specified in the current calendar (See Appendix
D). Digital submissions should be emailed to [email protected] in a single file.
- For complete instructions, see Section V of the Departmental Honors Manual. Please attach a
formal thesis proposal (about 1000 words) and a preliminary bibliography. Submit a digital copy
of the signed cover sheet and thesis proposal in a single file to the Honors College via email to
- After receiving the application and proposal and verifying the student's GPA eligibility, the
Honors College will forward the materials to the major department. The applicant's major
department is responsible for reviewing and approving Departmental Honors thesis proposals.
- Our Departmental Faculty Honors Committee will review the proposal and approve, reject, or
suggest changes to be included in a modified thesis proposal to be returned to the honors
program. Once the proposal or modified proposal is approved by the committee and signed by
the Head, the department should notify the student and the Honors College (via email to
[email protected]) of permission to register for the appropriate departmental thesis course (4995).
Honors research includes at least two semesters of 4995.