Chemistry is an experimental science and our Department and the University encourage all of our students to participate in research activities. In our Department, any Chemistry major who wishes to participate in a research project may do so, under the supervision of one of our faculty. Research projects are related to the research interests of the supervisory faculty, and are usually externally funded (e.g., The National Institutes of Health). Students, however, are responsible for the execution of their own aspect of the project. Research projects can be performed as part of their course requirements (i.e., CHEM 493: Undergraduate Research), as a volunteer during the school year, or as a paid summer student (as positions are available). Research projects offer opportunities to engage more directly with faculty, to learn about the planning and execution of research projects, to delve more deeply into a chemistry-related topic than is usually possible in conventional coursework, and, of course, acquire advanced technical and laboratory skills.
Undergraduate research is an attractive feature on applications for graduate schools, and professional schools in the health sciences (e.g., medical, dental, and pharmacy schools). Many of our students who perform research during the school year often find summer placements at local research institutions, including an internship program at the National Institutes of Health, which is less than 10 miles away and has direct access from Catholic U using the local Metro system. At the end of each school year, all Catholic University students who have performed research activities are invited to participate in our University-wide Research Day, during which students from all disciplines present and discuss their achievements with faculty and their peers.