students and professor working in lab

Undergraduate Research in Chemistry

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Undergraduates have many opportunities to get involved in undergraduate research. Our faculty has a wide range of research interests and expertise, and also actively collaborates with researchers in other departments. Our students can work with a faculty member or other scientist on a project of mutual interest, and as you grow as a scientist you will become more independent in your research project, developing your own project goals and the means with which to reach them.

Research Course Details

Course Number Course Title Credits Grade Option
Chem 290 Freshman and Sophomore Research 1-3 (variable) P/F
Chem 490 Research 1-6 (variable) P/F
Chem 495 Advanced Research 3 Letter

Chem 490

Chem 490 offers juniors and seniors the opportunity to get involved in advanced laboratory work on a selected topic in chemistry.  To gain permission of the department to enroll in Chem 490, students should complete and submit the Chem 490 Project Proposal Form

Chem 495

Enrollment in Chem 495 requires submission of the Chem 495 Application Form. The pre-requisite for Chem 495 is at least one prior semester of research in the same laboratory, for which credit may or may not have been awarded.  Chem 495 qualifies as a capstone experience counts as an advanced elective towards the chemistry major with honors. 

To arrange to participate in undergraduate research activities, you can reach out to chemistry faculty members directly, after reviewing their faculty profiles and confirming their availability to work with undergraduate students. You may also contact Dr. Rachel Dunn to discuss getting started in undergraduate research.

Outside Experiences

Research experiences outside of the chemistry department may qualify for Chem 290, 490, or 495 credit. However, to do so, the project must be pre-approved by the chemistry department’s Undergraduate Work Committee. To obtain this approval, the student must write a short description of the proposed research project, and identify the faculty mentor and the number of hours dedicated to research per week. To qualify for Chemistry research credit, the project must be of a “chemical” nature. Submit the petition to Dr. Rachel Dunn for review and approval. 

additional research opportunities

To find research available outside of the chemistry department, you may contact Washington University’s Office of Undergraduate Research.

Undergraduate Research