Getting Started in Research

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.


  1. Visit the faculty website and read about their research. Pick 2-3 professors who have an interest similar to your own.

  2. Send them an email and ask to set up a meeting to discuss their research and options for working with them.

  3. Choose a research professor who has indicated they are interested and inform them of your decision.

  4. Discuss your research options with the professor.


This may fill a space on your resume, but the benefits of undergraduate research are much more far-reaching. Research at UTC will reap dividends not obvious to you now.

  1. Stipends

  2. Academic credit

  3. Professional development

  4. Enjoyment

  5. Better informed career decisions

  6. Publications in refereed journals

  7. Travel to professional meetings and presentation of research results

  8. Development of critical thinking skills and independent thought

  9. Exposure to laboratory techniques, chemical literature and development of communication skills


  • Take Research for University Credit
    • CHEM/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/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.
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Program in Chemistry and Physics: Since 1986, the Chemistry Program has conducted summer research funded by the Grote Chemistry endowment. The Physics Program is in its second year of summer research. This outstanding opportunity pairs majors 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  4997 or 4995 the following semester. The application process for the following summer URP begins in October.