Undergraduate Research – MCDB 199

Special Studies Directed Research in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology

NOTE:  To enroll in these courses you will be required to sign an acknowledgement form confirming that you have read all the information detailed in all the webpage links under MCDB 199.  Please take the time to carefully review all of the information on these pages.

The Learning Objectives of MCDB Independent Research:

  • The requirements for MCDB 199 are designed to ensure that students learn how to:
    • build testable hypothesis;
    • propose experiments;
    • perform experiments;
    • analyze the data produced by the experiments;
    • record and report on the entire process in a scientific paper

General Information:

  • MCDB 199 work must be experimental laboratory research and not a literature search, literature evaluation, or survey work.  Familiarity with the scientific literature is essential and is part of the thesis.  It must be part of any independent research, but it should not be the only part.  We expect direct, hands-on laboratory exposure.
  • Students must enroll in four units of MCDB 199 per quarter.  This is not a variable unit course.  One unit of credit corresponds to three hours of work per week.  For four units of credit, you should therefore anticipate putting in at least 12 hours of work per week toward your project.
  • NON-MCDB majors:  All students working in an MCDB faculty member’s lab, who are not in the MCDB major may enroll in MCDB 199.  This course may be repeated for a grade up to 32 units (8 quarters).  For more information, please see “MCDB 199 Non-major Information”.
  • MCDB 199 may NOT be applied to the MCDB major requirement electives (20 units of approved electives).  Only MCDB 199A-C and MCDB 198A-C may be applied to MCDB major requirements.
  • Enrollment is limited.  Any individual faculty member can take on no more than seven students in any one MCDB research course per quarters.  If more than seven students apply for 199 with a particular faculty member, enrollment will be limited to the first seven students whose applications were received in the MCDB Undergraduate Counselor’s Office.  Please be sure that your sponsor has signed your proposal, and that the time and date of your application are noted when you turn it in.
  • Incompletes must be resolved during the following quarter, or they will lapse to an F.  (Spring quarter incompletes must be resolved during the following Fall quarter.)  Before the end of the quarter in which you are to receive an incomplete, you should reach a clear agreement with your sponsor on what you will need to do to resolve it (wisest to get this in writing).  Then, when you have finished the required work during the following quarter, you sponsor will file a petition with the Registrar’s Office in Murphy for the Removal of an Incomplete and the grade will be recorded on your transcript.