Research is not required for a degree in biology at JMU, but it is highly recommended for anyone planning to go to graduate school or looking for employment as a laboratory technician.  The best way to learn about research going on in the department is to talk with professors, read about research under each professor’s web page, read posters in the halls, and talk with students in the labs.  Don’t be bashful! 

First, speak with the faculty member you wish to work with.  For some of these courses a written proposal is required prior to enrollment.  For all of these courses an enrollment form must be completed and signed by the faculty member.  Forms are available in the Biology Office.  Under most circumstances this procedure should be completed in the semester prior to registration.

Up to eight credits of BIO 495, 497, 496 and 499 will count toward the biology major.  Any more than eight will count toward the degree but not the major.

Internships or summer research opportunities are advertised in various places but a good place to start is the summer opportunities page on this website.

While we encourage students to participate in internships, it is not possible at present to obtain academic BIO credit for internships that counts toward the major, minor or degree.  If you are doing an “internship” in a research lab associated with an accredited academic institution, you may be able to register for 2 credit hours of independent research at that institution and transfer those hours to JMU as BIO 497.  If you wish to do this, you need to fill out a JMU research (BIO 497) Enrollment Permission form including a proposal and the endorsement of the faculty member directing your research.  In addition you would need to file an “Application to take courses for transfer credit” form.  This needs to be approved by the Department of Biology Undergraduate Academic Coordinator, Bioscience 1028F.

In order to transfer credits as BIO 497 there are some extra transfer guidelines.  We will transfer 1 or 2 cr hr  of BIO 497 from another institution during the summer term.  You will need to obtain a form from the office for BIO 49X credits and fill it out. It will need your mentor's signature at the host institution and you will need to provide a brief proposal of the research project which your mentor has approved to accompany that form.  There is a departmental committee which reviews those proposals and if they approve, then the credits can be transferred.  The guidelines for the proposal are available through the biology office.  If there is no "project" for you that your mentor can define, you may transfer 1 cr as BIO 495 Biotechniques if the proposal (approved by  your mentor) outlines the specific laboratory skills that you will be acquiring and the work that you will be doing.   The proposal and the signed 49X application form should be attached to the "Permission to take courses for transfer credit form" which is turned in to the Department of Biology Undergraduate Academic Coordinator, Bioscience 1028F.

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