Chemistry Individual Study
(CHEM 4980)

Students who choose to enroll in this course will carry out a project under the direction of a chemistry faculty member. Before registering, the student must consult with potential faculty members for approval and project identification. Projects can be proposed by either faculty or students.

In order to register for the course, an Individual Study Request form must be filled out. The form should be filled out jointly with the faculty research director. The form must be signed by your research director (Instructor), your department academic advisor, and the Chair of the Chemistry Department. The form is submitted to Enrollment Services who will assign a CRN number which will enable you to register for CHEM 4980. The course can be taken for 1-4 units; however, each unit of credit requires a minimum of 42.5 hours of work during the semester so the typical semester assignment is 1 unit.

There are two requirements for earning a grade in CHEM 4980: a lab notebook (hard copy or electronic) and a formal research report (ACS Formal Report Style).

(1) The lab notebook contains a detailed compilation of all experimental details. The laboratory notebook has numbered and dated pages and a table of contents. A description of the purpose of each experiment, the procedure or a reference to the procedure where appropriate, all experimental results including spectra, chromatograms etc. and conclusions must be included. The notebook must be submitted to the research director upon completion of the work at the end of the semester.

(2) A formal report that summarizes the project must be turned in at the end of the semester. This report includes a discussion of the general purpose of the work and a brief review of the relevant literature. The experiments that are described will provide answers to the questions posed in the general purpose of the work. A general description of the experimental procedures that were followed should be included. Often it is appropriate to provide references to the relevant primary literature. The Results section of the formal report must include an organized compilation of the data collected. The data are presented in tables, figures and graphs. Each of these has a label and is described in the text. The results support the Conclusions that are presented in the last section of the formal report. It is expected that the student will submit this report to the research advisor, the research advisor will provide feedback and the student will use the feedback to improve and resubmit the report. (This process may require several iterations.)

Original: 1/5/99
Updated: 1/30/2023

Updated: February 15, 2023