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Undergraduate Chemistry

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Explore Undergraduate Chemistry Research

Although it is not a requirement for the degree, research is an important component of undergraduate education, whether or not you are bound for graduate work in chemistry. There are many reasons to round out your education with some research. They include testing and enriching your understanding of chemical concepts, gaining an understanding of how science is actually done, and fostering closer interactions with other chemistry students and faculty members. Interactions with the faculty are very helpful for obtaining quality recommendations for whichever career path you follow after graduation. Such recommendations are indispensable for students intending to pursue advanced degrees in chemistry. For these reasons, the majority of Chemistry majors graduate with several semesters of research experience. In most cases, this experience is gained through working with a research group within the chemistry department, although a few students elect to do research in allied departments or through a National Science Foundation REU Program.

undergraduate research student
Fall and Spring Semester Research

Chemistry majors have the opportunity to become involved in research as early as their first year. During the normal academic year, students can earn credit for research through a variety of programs, including a First-Year Research Initiative (FRI) and the newly instituted CURIE program!


Many of our majors also elect to spend a summer doing research at University Park. The department has limited funds with which to support a few top students in summer research through the Benkovic Award. The Chemistry Department is also a host site of a NSF REU program.

Summer Research Opportunities
Independent research has not only allowed me to gain a better understanding of various important laboratory techniques, but has also directly aided my understanding of the concepts taught in many of my current courses.
Devon Sweeder
Chemistry Major, Class of 2022
student working in a chemistry hood

Undergraduate Research Highlights

Read about the cutting-edge research and programs our Chemistry majors are involved in: