Independent research is an integral part of the undergraduate experience in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Swarthmore College. Students engage in independent research throughout the year in close collaboration with faculty members. Participation in research exposes students to the practice of chemistry as a process of creating new knowledge.
Some students begin research as early as the summer after their sophomore year. Many such projects have led to student-faculty co-authored articles in major chemical journals including The Journal of the American Chemical Society, The Journal of Organic Chemistry, The Journal of Physical Chemistry, and Protein Science.
By completing an independent research project, a student may earn a degree certified by the American Chemical Society. Students also have the opportunity to write a senior thesis based on their independent research-an option that is required for chemistry majors in the Honors Program.
Research projects are supported by a wide range of funding sources including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Research Corporation, Petroleum Research Fund/ACS, Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Merck/AAAS and Swarthmore College. In addition, Swarthmore students compete successfully for paid, off-campus research internships in academic, industrial, and government laboratories.
Summer Research Groups
Each summer Swarthmore students participate in a 10-week summer research session. For many students this work leads to their senior research thesis or to student-faculty co-authored publications in peer-reviewed chemical journals.
For more details about research please visit faculty lab web pages or stop by our offices - we will be happy to talk to you about research opportunities.