Department of Chemistry

Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate Research in Chemistry

Undergraduate chemistry majors are encouraged to participate in CHEM 397, Undergraduate Research or CHEM 398, Undergraduate Research/Senior Capstone Project. Students should consult with faculty members in the department and select one under whose guidance the student undertakes a specific research project. This gives students the opportunity to join a research group, and work with faculty, graduate students, and research associates. Many such research projects have resulted in papers published in scientific journals and coauthored by undergraduate students. Students may consult brief descriptions of current research projects of the Chemistry faculty or more extensive Faculty research profiles from the Chemistry Department Web site.

The rules governing undergraduate research are as follows:

  1. CHEM 397 and CHEM 398 are normally taken by a student under the supervision of a Chemistry faculty member (including those with a joint appointment in Chemistry). Students who want to carry out CHEM 397 or CHEM 398 research with a faculty member in another department must designate a Chemistry faculty member to act as co-adviser and submit a petition to the Undergraduate Committee for approval of the proposed project. The proposed project must be primarily chemically-based in order to be approved.
  2. Registration for CHEM 397 or CHEM 398 requires a permit (available below), signed by the Chemistry Department faculty adviser, specifying the name of the Research Adviser and the number of credit hours agreed upon.
  3. At the end of each semester that CHEM 397 is carried out, the student must submit to the research adviser a comprehensive report of the work accomplished. A copy of the report must also be submitted to the Chair of the Undergraduate Committee. No grade for CHEM 397 will be issued without the comprehensive report.
  4. A maximum of 3 credit hours of CHEM 397 may be taken as Chemistry Electives. A maximum of 6 credit hours of CHEM 397 may be taken as Technical Electives. Additional credit hours of CHEM 397 may be taken as Open Electives.

Summer Research Opportunities at CWRU

In past years, limited opportunities have been available for qualified undergraduate students from Case Western Reserve University and elsewhere to participate in on-going research projects. The appointments usually carry stipends, in which case no graduation credit is granted. Interested students should contact faculty members on their own initiative, since many of the summer research arrangements are made informally.


Registration Permit Forms


For more information, please see our Guide to Undergraduate Research in Chemistry at CWRU.