Why engage in research?
Science is a process, not a collection of memorized facts. Experimental research gives you an opportunity to apply knowledge learned in lecture courses and gain a deeper understanding of molecular processes. Lab work also helps you develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, both of which are highly regarded by employers, graduate schools, and professional schools.
When should I get involved in research?
While only four research credits are required for your degree, we encourage you to join a lab as soon as possible. More time in a lab will allow you to develop desirable skills, network, and learn more about your own research interests.
How do I find a research lab to join?
- Read faculty research profiles and select a few laboratories that you are interested in.
- Email the professor to request a meeting to discuss research opportunities.
- Include your major, class year, and the semester you are hoping to join their lab.
- Describe why you are interested in their lab and what you hope to gain from the experience.
- Follow up with a second email if the professor doesn’t respond in about a week.
Contact the professor at least one semester prior to your anticipated start date. Don’t hesitate to contact faculty you have not met – All faculty are eager to work with motivated students!
Your BICH or GENE degree plan requires at least 4 credit hours of independent research (BICH/GENE 491). Your final credit hour will be spent detailing your work in an undergraduate thesis. You may enroll in more than one credit each semester. The research requirement is a unique feature of our department—Research is optional at most universities.
REU Summer Program
The BCBP Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program is funded by the National Science Foundation. Selected students will work full time in a research lab for 10 weeks over the summer. The program has a generous stipend and cost-of-living allowance.
Other Research Opportunities
Research positions aren’t limited to research credits! Many groups have undergraduate research assistant positions open throughout the year. Please contact the individual labs directly for more information.
I chose the Genetics program at A&M because it is a small program at a large university. Not many universities offer a Bachelor’s degree in genetics and the degree program at A&M allows you to follow many career paths in the future. I like that the Biochemistry/Genetics program is small. You get to know people in your classes early on and you will continue to take classes together as you go through the program. The faculty are great and always willing to help. Since the class sizes are fairly small, you have the opportunity to build a relationship with your professors that you may not necessarily get in other programs. I plan on earning a Masters in Genetic Counseling. By being in a research lab, I have developed technical laboratory and investigative skills. Research is an integral part of genetic counseling so I will be well prepared for graduate school.
Which lab should I join?
Check out the research happening in BCBP!
Learn more about undergraduate research!
Interested in the Research Scholars Program offered by LAUNCH (Honors and Undergraduate Research)? Visit their site to learn more!