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Research for Credit (BIOG 2990/4990)

Independent Research for Credit during the Academic Year

Over 500 students each semester earn academic credit for undergraduate research by enrolling in independent research courses. Most students enroll in 2-4 credits of research (3-5 hours per credit). A student’s research mentor can be in any department as long as the research is biological in nature. A faculty member or research associate must supervise the research. Students often work directly with a graduate student, technician, or postdoctoral scientist in the lab.

BIOG 2990, Introduction to Research:  Intended for students new to undergraduate research. Students enrolled in BIOG 2990 may be reading the scientific literature, learning research techniques and assisting with ongoing research. Credit hours are variable (maximum of 3 credits) and grading is S/U only. This course is a prerequisite for BIOG 4990. Enroll in 2990 for Fall 2019 (link will be available in August).

BIOG 4990, Independent Research in Biology:  Students work more independently on a research project. You do not have to generate your own research topic. More typically, students get involved in the ongoing research of the lab. The prerequisite for BIOG 4990 is the completion of one semester of BIOG 2990 or previous research experience. You will need to prepare a brief research description as part of the BIOG 4990 application.  We encourage you to work with your research mentor to draft this in advance of applying. Enroll in 4990 for Fall 2019 (link will be available in August).

We do not pre-enroll for BioG 2990 or BioG 4990.  You must complete the online enrollment form at the start of the semester. After the add deadline you can petition to add late, see below for details.

How to add BIOG 2990/4990 late by college

All students must submit the BIOG 2990/4990 online enrollment form (see right side bar).


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences:

  • The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences students have until February 21 to add independent research without petitioning to add late. After that date you will need to go to 140 Roberts Hall to obtain a petition, there will be no guarantee the petition will be approved.

College of Arts and Sciences:

  • A petition can be found online You can complete an online form or print and fill out a paper form. If filling out a paper form, before bringing the form back to the college, you will need to see me, Kristy Long, in 216 Stimson Hall, to get a stamp and a copy of your approved online independent research form (you will receive an email once your research supervisor approves). Both the petition and the copy of the approved research form will go back to the college for processing. The college will email you with their decision.

College of Engineering:

  • The College of Engineering asks that you go to your registrar’s office, 170 Rhoades Hall, to receive a petition form. They will also ask you to fill out an add/drop slip which must be stamped by Kristy Long in 216 Stimson Hall.

College of Human Ecology:

  • The College of Human Ecology asks that you use their general petition form found at the colleges petition and forms website to add a class after the deadline. The procedure requires students to meet with a Student Counselor in Facility Surge A, Rm 125 before submitting the form to the Registrar's Office. To make an appointment you can call 255-2532.
  • Once the petition has been approved the OUB will send over your enrollment information. Your college will then enroll you into the class.