Undergraduate Research:  Research Courses

General Biology majors may receive credit for participating in research at UCSC.  Completion of 5 units of undergraduate research may be used to satisfy one general elective/lab.
All Research Courses require a faculty sponsor.  General Biology majors can seek research opportunities with faculty from both the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology Departments.

How to find a faculty sponsor:

  • Familiarize yourself with the research in the department.
  • Identify an area of research you are interested in.
  • Read up on faculty in that area, i.e. their research focus and publications.  Faculty are much more likely to take on a student who has made an investment in learning about their research work.
  • Attend office hours or make an appointment to meet with the faculty member.  Be clear about your intentions and what you have to offer.  You may also consider bringing a copy of your transcript. 

Research Courses sponsored by the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department:

BIOE 182F Exploring Research in EEB
BIOE 183W Undergraduate Research in EEB - Writing
BIOE 183L Undergraduate Research in EEB
BIOE 193 Independent Research in EEB
BIOE 193F Independent Research in EEB
BIOE 195 Senior Thesis

Research Courses sponsored by the Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology Department:

BIOL 186F Undergraduate Research in MCD Biology
BIOL 186L Undergraduate Research in MCD Biology
BIOL 186R Undergraduate Research in MCD Biology

BIOE 182F Exploring Research in EEB:
Opportunity for students to try on research and explore the possibility of doing further independent study in EEB. Students coordinate with an EEB faculty member, affiliate, or adjunct to participate in research for one quarter. Course requires @6 hours of field or lab work per week (@60 hours for the quarter). Course may not be repeated with the same instructor twice.
Prerequisite: BIO 20ABC.
Enrollment: Submit completed undergraduate research contract. Once prerequisites are verified you will be emailed enrollment information. May not be repeated with same faculty sponsor.
Credit: 2 units; no credit towards major.
Grading Basis: Course may only be taken Pass/No Pass.

BIOE 183W Undergraduate Research in EEB - Writing:
Working in coordination with an EEB faculty member, affiliate or adjunct, students develop and write a formal research proposal or report and give a presentation on their research project. Course includes weekly class meetings focused on the philosophy of science, basic statistics, library searches, inputting data, creating graphs, and preparing results for publication, posters, and talks.
Prerequisite: BIOE 107, 108, or 109; C1 and C2 writing requirement.
Enrollment: Students enroll directly but must have faculty sponsor arranged and completed undergraduate research contract on file with the department by first class meeting. May not be repeated for credit.
Credit: 2 units; satisfies the comprehensive (senior exit) requirement.
Grading Basis: Letter grade, based on the quality of writing.

BIOE 183L Undergraduate Research in EEB:
Supervised undergraduate research on a project with an EEB faculty member, affiliate or adjunct.
Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in BIOE 183W.
Enrollment: Submit completed undergraduate research contract. Once prerequisites are verified, you will be emailed enrollment information. May not be repeated for credit.
Credit: 3 units
Grading Basis: Students are graded on the quality of their research and meeting the terms agreed to in the undergraduate research contract.

BIOE 193 Independent Research in EEB:
Continued undergraduate research on a project sponsored by an EEB faculty member, affiliate, or adjunct.
Prerequisite: BIOE 183W.
Enrollment: Submit completed undergraduate research contract. Once prerequisites are verified, you will be emailed enrollment information. May be repeated for credit.
Credit: 5-15 units dependent on hours spent in research project
Grading Basis: Students are graded on the quality of their research and meeting the terms agreed to in the undergraduate research contract.

BIOE 193F Independent Research in EEB:
Continued undergraduate research on a project sponsored by an EEB faculty member, affiliate, or adjunct.
Prerequisite: BIOE 183W.
Enrollment: Submit completed undergraduate research contract. Once prerequisites are verified, you will be emailed enrollment information. May be repeated for credit.
Credit: 2 units
Grading Basis: Students are graded on the quality of their research and meeting the terms agreed to in the undergraduate research contract.

BIOE 195 Senior Thesis:
Faculty-mentored production of a senior thesis.
Prerequisite: BIOE 183W.
Enrollment: Submit completed undergraduate research contract. Once prerequisites are verified, you will be emailed enrollment information. May not be repeated for credit.
Credit: 5 units
Grading Basis: Students are graded on the quality of their senior thesis.

BIOL 186F Undergraduate Research in MCD Biology:
Supervised undergraduate research in laboratory of an MCD biology faculty member accompanied by weekly lectures on ethical and practical scientific issues. Topics include: laboratory safety; the scientific method; the collection, treatment, and presentation of data; critical evaluation of scientific literature; scientific misconduct; and peer review. Career issues, including how to apply for admission to graduate and professional schools, is also discussed.
Prerequisite(s): BIOL 100 or BIOC 100A; and BIOL 100K. Each enrolled student must have a committed MCD faculty sponsor by the first class meeting. By application only.
Credit:  2 units; may be repeated for credit.

BIOL 186L Undergraduate Research in MCD Biology:
Supervised undergraduate research in laboratory of an MCD biology faculty member accompanied by weekly lectures on ethical and practical scientific issues. Topics include: laboratory safety; the scientific method; the collection, treatment, and presentation of data; critical evaluation of scientific literature; scientific misconduct; and peer review. Career issues, including how to apply for admission to graduate and professional schools, are also discussed.
Prerequisite(s):Entry Level Writing and Composition requirements; BIOL 100 or BIOC 100A; and BIOL 100K. Each enrolled student must have a committed MCD faculty sponsor by the first class meeting. By application only.
Credit: 5 units

BIOL 186R Undergraduate Research in MCD Biology:
Supervised undergraduate research in the laboratory of an MCD biology faculty member accompanied by weekly lectures on practical scientific issues. Topics include: laboratory safety; the scientific method; the collection, treatment, and presentation of data; critical evaluation of scientific literature; ethics and scientific misconduct; and peer review. Career issues, including how to apply for admission to graduate and professional schools, are discussed. Students cannot receive credit for this course and course 186L. Prerequisite(s):BIOL 100 or BIOC 100A, and BIOL 100K; previous completion of the Disciplinary Communication requirement. Each enrolled student must have a committed MCD faculty sponsor by the first class. By application only.
Credit:  5 units; may be repeated for credit.