The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry strongly encourages students pursuing an undergraduate chemistry degree to get involved in chemical research. Research projects give students additional experience with the most up-to-date research equipment and techniques. Many undergraduates become co-authors on research publications in the scientific literature, and the work performed by Kent State undergraduates is often presented at professional conferences around the world. Participation in undergraduate chemical research greatly enhances the likelihood of securing a position in a top graduate program, obtaining an industrial job, or gaining entry into medical or other professional schools.
There are a wide variety of research projects available to students pursuing an undergraduate chemistry degree or biochemistry degree. Participating faculty advisors and summaries of undergraduate research projects are listed on the right, and a hard copy of the undergraduate chemical research directory is available in the Undergraduate Office, WMH 208. Browse through these projects to identify research areas that are particularly interesting, and contact the individual faculty members to schedule appointments where you can learn more.
Which Chemical Research Courses Should I Take?
Individual Investigation (CHEM 40796): Most students who wish to begin pursuing a chemical research project will register for this course. To be eligible, students must have a 2.5 GPA in chemistry. It is common for students to begin registering for this course in their sophomore or junior year; in this way they will have the opportunity of pursuing a project for several semesters prior to graduation. A form is available in the Undergraduate Chemistry Office (WMH 208) which must be completed and signed by the prospective research advisor before a student is allowed to register for the course. Repeat registration is allowed and encouraged, up to a maximum of eight semester hours; however, only two of these hours will count towards the four hours of 40000-level chemistry electives required for the B.S. in the traditional chemistry or biological chemistry degree concentrations. A formal written report documenting the student's research accomplishments must be submitted to their research advisor at the end of each semester. A copy of this report, graded and signed by the advisor, must be forwarded to the Assistant Chair before the grade can be awarded. The grade scale is satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U).
Senior Honors Thesis (CHEM 40099 or HONR 40099): All students who are planning to graduate with University Honors are required to pursue undergraduate research leading to the writing of a Senior Honors Thesis. Qualified students who have not completed all the requirements for graduation with University Honors can still graduate with Departmental Honors by completing a Senior Thesis. Usually, students will register for Individual Investigation until the summer of their junior year. During the following year, they would register for between 5 and 10 semester hours of Senior Honors Thesis in either CHEM 40099 or HONR 40099. Approval by the Department of Chemistry and the Honors College is required prior to enrolling in this course. During the final semester, a thesis describing the research work must be written and defended before a faculty committee. This is an excellent opportunity to learn how to write and defend a scientific thesis, an experience that will prove invaluable in graduate school or industry.