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. A student planning to register for Chem 490 research with a chemistry research advisor should obtain verbal approval from that faculty member before registering, but a formal proposal is not required. For research experiences with mentors outside the Department of Chemistry, please see below.

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 and 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 Professor John Bleeke to discuss getting started in undergraduate research.

Outside Experiences

Research experiences outside 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 for Chem 490, the student must submit the Chem 490 Project Proposal Form, which includes a short description of the proposed research project, and identifies the faculty mentor and the number of hours dedicated to research per week. To obtain approval for Chem 495, the student must submit the Chem 495 Application Form, see section above.  To qualify for chemistry research credit, the project must be of a “chemical” nature.  Submit the forms to Professor John Bleeke 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