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 to major in biochemistry because I saw how it was uniquely positioned within the sciences. There are a lot of different and difficult science majors at A&M, but biochemistry allows an integrated approach that encourages the student to understand the “why” behind the macroscopic while not being too narrow in the microscopic. I wanted to be challenged not to be satisfied with surface level information and push beyond what was currently known. One big lesson I’ve learned is that the more you know, the more you realized how much you do not know. As I took more advanced courses, the more questions I had many of which could not be answered with current knowledge. I plan on attending medical school after I graduate. This program has allowed me to develop the critical thinking and problem solving skills that will allow me to be a better doctor in the future.
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!