Independent Study Courses

Chemistry independent study courses are open to qualified students who desire to pursue a literature investigation or research project in an area of special interest in chemistry under the direction and supervision of a chemistry faculty member.

The department offers the following independent study courses:

  • CHE 395-Literature Investigation
  • CHE 396-Laboratory Research I (intended for non-senior students)
  • CHE 397-Laboratory Research II (intended for non-senior students who have completed CHE 396)
  • CHE 496-Senior Research I (intended for senior chemistry majors)
  • CHE 497-Senior Research II (intended for senior chemistry majors who have completed CHE 496)
  • CHE 498-Thesis Research (intended for senior chemistry majors who have completed CHE 496 and are pursuing Honors)

Independent Study Checklist

Students interested in registering for an independent study course must do the following:

Secure a Faculty Sponsor.

Before registration, you will need to secure a faculty sponsor. Your faculty sponsor will be a chemistry faculty member who will help direct and supervise your independent research. 

Meet the Chemistry Faculty

Complete the Independent Study Course Contract.

Complete the Independent Study Course Contract from the Registrar's Office. The contract will include a written proposal that indicates the following:

  • Course number
  • Project title
  • Detailed description of the project with clear objectives, initial experiments and possible extensions, type of records that will be kept, references to previous work in the research area and/or to experimental techniques to be used.
  • Proposed budget listing vendors, catalog numbers, and costs of all supplies and equipment needed.
  • Timeline including start date, minimum number of hours expected for experiments, completion date for experimental work, and due dates for written drafts and final report or oral reports and colloquium presentation as applicable. The submitted timeline should include time for preparation of the final written report.
  • A report on a CHE 396 or 496 project may consist of a proposal for a CHE 397 or 497 project if the student plans to continue the research in the following semester. Otherwise, a detailed CHE 396 or 496 project report is required.

Confirm Evaluation Criteria and Receive Department Approval.

Confirm information provided by the faculty sponsor about how the final grade is determined (regular letter grade or pass/fail) considering factors such as lab performance, library research, final report, etc. and how each will be weighted.

Following faculty sponsor's approval, a copy of the proposal is to be sent to the department chair for department approval.

The proposal should be submitted by the end of the first week of the semester of enrollment.

Commit to the Time of Independent Study.

Commit to the equivalent in time (i.e., about 150 hours) and effort as that of a regular chemistry course.

Return the Independent Course Contract to the Registrar's Office.

Return the Independent Course Contract to the Registrar's Office and provide a copy to the Chemistry Department Assistant.

Present Your Results.

Present the results of the research project in whatever form is requested by the sponsor.

A project's required final report will become a part of a collection of reports maintained by the chemistry department.

The student is responsible for preparing the final report in accordance with American Chemical Society guidelines.