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How To Get Involved

Faculty members in the Department of Chemistry carry out cutting-edge research in a variety of chemistry subdisciplines. There are many opportunities for undergraduates to get involved throughout the year.


  • In-major GPA: 2.0 minimum
  • Overall GPA: 2.5 minimum
  • Minimum of 28 credit hours completed at Virginia Tech

Getting Started

If you have met the qualifications and are interested in working in a research lab, follow these steps to get started:

  1. Explore faculty research interests by using the department's Research Areas webpage, or by speaking directly with faculty members.
  2. Decide which faculty research area interests you
  3. Contact that faculty member directly, at least one month prior to the start of classes, to inquire about available positions in his/her laboratory, as well as any additional prerequisites they may have.
  4. When you find a research opportunity that suits you, you should complete the College of Science's Undergraduate Research/Independent Study Form. For students whose primary major is in a college other than the College of Science, please contact your academic advisor for information on your college-specific form.
  5. For students whose primary major is in the College of Science, The deadline to submit the form is the "Last Day to Add" deadline of each semester. After this date, the Dean's office will not process any forms submitted.

If you have any questions about this process, Prof. Joseph Merola can assist you.


  • Students who would like to participate in research must enroll in CHEM 4994 each semester the work is to be performed.
    Students may enroll in up to 19 credits, but 2-3 credits is most common. Expect to spend 3–4 hours in the lab per credit. Consult your research advisor about their expectations from you in order to enroll in the correct number of hours.
  • Chemistry B.S. majors who are enrolled in 3 hours and chemistry B.A. majors who are using research to fulfill the CHEM 3xxx-4xxx elective are required to take part in the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the end of the semester.
    All other students in other majors who participate in chemistry research and encouraged, but not required, to take part in the symposium. Individual research mentors may also require your participation in the symposium regardless of number of enrolled credit hours.