Research Opportunities

Microbiology majors are encouraged to engage in research on campus. Research experience gives students the opportunity to work alongside scientists. It provides a hands-on opportunity to apply the knowledge learned in the classroom and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Research also prepares students for employment, as well as for graduate and professional study.

Research Credits

Students can enroll in one or more of the following courses. The process is described below.

Course #Course NameCredits, Grading, and Repeat PolicyPrerequisites
V_PBIO 2950 / 2950HUndergraduate Research / Honors Undergraduate Research1-3 credits. S/U grading. Can be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.V_PBIO 2001, or V_PBIO 2010 & 2011, or an equivalent course. Sophomore standing.
V_PBIO 4950 / 4950HAdvanced Undergraduate Research / Honors Advanced Undergraduate Research1-3 credits. A-F grading. Can be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.Junior/senior standing.
V_PBIO 4970 / 4970HCapstone Undergraduate Research*/ Honors Capstone Undergraduate Research3 credits. A-F grading. Cannot be repeated, except for grade replacement.V_PBIO 4950/4950H. Senior standing.

Note: V_PBIO 2950/H and 4950/H are microbiology electives. A maximum of 6 credits from 2950/H and 4950/H total can be applied to fulfill major electives.

Enrollment Process

Students must receive a permission code to enroll in research courses. To receive a permission code, follow the steps below.

  1. Review faculty research webpages to find potential mentors. To access the webpages of our departmental faculty, click here. (Please note that you are not limited to working with a departmental mentor; you can work with a mentor in another department on campus).
  2. Contact faculty to identify a research mentor. It is the student’s responsibility to identify a faculty member to serve as a mentor and to meet with the proposed mentor. Students should identify their research mentor several weeks before the early registration period for their research term.
  3. Complete the Undergraduate Research Agreement Form and submit to the Research Courses Coordinator (RCC; currently our RCC is Prof Mick Calcutt).
  4. Obtain a permission code from the RCC for the correct course section.
  5. Ensure that you enroll in the correct section that shows your research mentor as the instructor (if your mentor’s section is not listed or the code does not work, contact RCC).


In general, students should expect to spend, at a minimum, 4-5 hours per week per credit hour during the academic year (8-10 hours per week per credit hour during the summer) on their research projects. The actual time commitment will be determined by what is required for their specific research project and may vary considerably.