Student Research Information

There are two types of undergraduate research opportunities available in the UAB Chemistry Department.

CH 297 Directed Studies ( 1 semester credit hour)
You may participate in independent study (CH 297) with the research professor’s and Dr. Graves’ permission, 14 hours completed in chemistry, usually including CH 235, and a 2.5 GPA in chemistry.
This can be very helpful when a student needs an extra credit hour to be full‐time or to meet scholarship requirements. It is research on a smaller scale than CH 497, and can easily lead to CH 497. The sooner you begin the process and establish relationships with professors, the more likely it is for you to be able to work up to CH 297, 497, and hopefully 499.

CH 497 Senior Research Project (3 semester credit hours):
A student takes a minimum of 6 hours (two consecutive semesters, usually) of CH 497 under the supervision of a faculty member mentor. The criteria and schedule for successful completion of senior research are determined by the mentor. These criteria may include working a certain number of hours in the laboratory each week (usually 10‐15, but sometimes more) and writing an abstract/report on the research progress during the second semester. These parameters should be discussed by the mentor and student prior to registering for research credit.
You must have at least a 2.5 overall GPA and at least a 3.00 overall GPA in your chemistry courses and usually should have completed 16 hours of chemistry courses through CH 237 before signing up for CH497. You must also have obtained approval from the mentor, the chemistry department advisor, and the department chair, before signing up for CH 297 or 497. Start the process at least a month (ideally several months) before you want to start research! In some cases the GPA must be verified before you can register for the research credit.

Honors Research
In the chemistry honors program the student takes CH 497 (two or more consecutive semesters) and then 3 hours of CH 499 under the supervision of the mentor. The student must have an overall GPA of 3.0, a 3.25 GPA in Chemistry, and 16 hours of chemistry courses through CH 237 to participate in Honors Research. The student must also have been admitted to the Honors Research program by the Chemistry Department Honors Director (currently Professor Gary Gray).

The official admission process occurs as the student nears completion of CH 497 (two semesters, with “A” quality work) and submits an Honors Program Application form to the Honors Director. This form includes a one page abstract describing the content of the student’s proposed Honors’ Thesis and must be signed by both the student’s research advisor and the Honors Director PRIOR TO registration for CH 499. During CH 499 the student writes an Honors thesis, which is submitted to an Honors committee consisting of the research mentor and two other faculty members. Before the end of the semester, the student makes an oral presentation of the thesis to the committee.

FORENSICS research begins with CH 297, a one‐credit, full‐time internship in a local, state, or federal crime lab. This will normally occur during a summer semester, and may have prerequisites specified by the individual lab. The remaining ONE semester of CH 497 and optional CH 499 can be completed at the same lab or at UAB.