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Undergraduate Research

USF is one of the top research institutes in the country.

Therefore, Undergraduate Research is a great opportunity that most, if not all, of our students should pursue.

We highly suggest that you begin looking at undergraduate research early in your academic career and approach the opportunity as if you are applying for a job.

You can start this process by:

  • Reading the professor's webpage to know what type of research that professor is conducting. Be sure to follow any particular instructions they have posted for interested undergrads. Links to the Biology faculty websites can be found below.
  • Creating a Curriculum Vitae (CV) which includes your Name, U#, USF GPA, Majors GPA, relevant coursework you have completed, and relevant experiences you have completed. If you need help creating a CV, please contact the Biology Advisors via or by scheduling an appointment.

Some professors may post flyers with information about research opportunities in their lab or lecture for the current semester. If you are interested in specific areas of biology, take the time to investigate all the research being conducted by the faculty in both the CMMB Department and the IB Department. If you see something that interests you contact the professor, via email, to see if they have an opportunity in their research lab.

CMMB Faculty Research

IB Faculty Research


Registering for Research

Biology majors may earn up to 4 credit hours of undergraduate research credit to be counted toward their major electives.

Keep in mind, many professors will prefer, and may even give preference to, students who can commit to more than one semester of work in their research lab. Therefore, we suggest that students spread out these 4 credit hours over 2-4 semesters.

Undergraduate research credit is graded in S/U grades ONLY.

The requirements include a 3.0 USF GPA, a 3.0 applied major's GPA, and a minimum total of 60 earned credit hours. However, final approval is always at the faculty's discretion.

There are two types of undergraduate research credit:

  • BSC 4910: Undergraduate Research
    • Counts toward the BGY, CAM, ENB, EMB, IAB, MRB, and MRN majors ONLY
  • MCB 4905: Microbiology Undergraduate Research
    • Counts toward the MIC major ONLY

Research Steps infograph

Transcript for the above infograph


Other Policies to Keep in Mind

1. Research faculty advisors for MCB 4905 credit must be a USF Microbiologist.

2. Students cannot receive both undergraduate research credit toward their major AND payment for their research project.

3. Students cannot receive both undergraduate research credit toward their major AND Honors Thesis credit for the same work.

4. Credit for undergraduate research cannot be provided retroactively. Students must register for research prior to the start of the semester they plan to participate.

5. The project cannot be ‘transferred’ from another academic institution.

6. If the student will be completing the work with someone who is not a USF faculty member within either the CMMB or IB departments, the student must do the following:

  • Make all research arrangements with the secondary institution/researcher
  • Find a CMMB or IB faculty member willing to "sponsor" the credit for the course
  • Complete the Undergraduate Research Contract with the USF faculty member who is "sponsoring" the work

Please keep in mind, USF faculty members are not required to sponsor your research with someone outside of the biology departments.