A great way to gain excellent laboratory experience is to register for Directed Studies (Chem 2094 or 4094).
What should I do to participate in Directed Studies?
Look over the research that is being done in our department. If you are interested in a particular area of chemistry, check out the faculty and their research. Pick out about 3 to 4 projects that seem interesting to you and contact the faculty you want to work with. Be specific about how their research interests you and ask to meet with them to talk about opportunities. Don't hesitate to sell yourself such as, "I have two years to commit to a project and hope to go on to graduate school." No one will want you for one term so commit to at least two terms.
Once you've made a decision, ensure that you have an agreement with the faculty member, focusing on how much time you need to be in the lab for the number of registered credits.
It is possible to work with another professor in a different department, as long as it has a chemistry component.
Complete the research contract at z.umn.edu/Directed_Activity. Stephanie Stathopoulos will send you a permission number.
How do I register for Directed Studies?
You can register for Directed Studies in three different ways:
- 2094—designed for entry-level students, available only to College of Liberal Arts students for one of the Advanced Chemistry Lab requirements.
- 4094W—writing intensive (mandatory report of the equivalent of 2500 words)
- 4094V—same as 4094W, but for Honors students (senior thesis of 30-40 pages and oral presentation to three-member faculty committee)
How are credits handled?
You can only use two credits for the Advanced Chemistry Lab Requirement, and any credit beyond those two are used as general elective credits. Credit assignments vary; however, normally, each credit earned requires 45 hours of academic work a semester. You can not get credit and pay during the same semester: there is no pay connected with this work.
What are the writing requirements?
As a writing intensive course, CHEM4094W(V) requires that you submit a final report on your directed studies. Each research adviser may have writing requirements as well. What is submitted to the Chemistry Undergraduate Office is a one-page summary (by the research adviser with the grade).
Your faculty adviser should submit both the final grade and the one-page summary in PDF format, simultaneously, via email to Stephanie Stathopoulos, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The final grade and report must be submitted no later than the last day of final exams. A final grade will not be assigned for the course without submission of the report.
The one-page summary report must contain your name and ID number, your adviser's name, the enrollment term covered by the report, and a summary of the work completed. The summary page should be formatted using 12-point type and 1-inch margins. Full reports, including the length, any required sections and referencing, is at the discretion of your faculty adviser.