Research is a learning experience that serves chemistry students no matter which career path they choose.
At Muhlenberg, students have explored the ways in which certain chemical compounds can help the nervous system absorb drugs to treat neurodegenerative disorders. They’ve gained a better understanding of the relationships between enzyme structure and function, helping to advance the science that can lead to new molecular creations, ranging from antibiotics to biofuels. Students can also earn co-authorship on a publication and present their work at national meetings. Research experiences are a powerful expression of the faculty-student collaborative learning process.
In addition to their Project Lab experience, around 90 percent of chemistry majors at Muhlenberg continue faculty-mentored research either during the academic year or the summer research period. Our size and commitment to hands-on learning ensures that by sophomore year, students are able to apply for valuable laboratory experience under the mentorship of a faculty member.
During summer research, Muhlenberg chemistry students may remain on campus to explore their scientific inquiries in the lab, all while earning course credit and a stipend.
Students who show a passion and promise for research can participate in an unusual opportunity to conduct their own open-ended research during the spring semester of their first year at Muhlenberg.
Faculty select 10 to 12 students from the General Chemistry I class to perform faculty-mentored research in small teams. Students develop skills in literature research, proposal development and experimental lab work before finally communicating their results through a written paper and a public presentation.
Strong candidates for this unique first-year opportunity are students with good academic records, enthusiasm for research and an interest in chemistry or a related field.
During the academic semester, students can pursue faculty-mentored research through an independent study or research assistantship. The independent-study is rostered as a course and receives a letter grade, while the research assistantship is a paid position.
Any academic year research experience is secured through consultation with a faculty member. Interested students should schedule a time to meet with faculty members to discuss research options and availability.
Opportunities abound for full-time scientific research during the summer, where students have the chance to collaborate with Muhlenberg faculty through hands-on full-time study.
This 8- to 10-week opportunity to dive deeper into a research topic comes with a stipend supported by one of several grants. While most of these opportunities take place on campus, Muhlenberg does have an agreement with the University of Michigan allowing one of our students to perform research in Ann Arbor each summer.
Many of the grants that help provide the finanical support for the summer search also provide the funds for the purchase of supplies or pieces of equipment to support the project. The College generously provides free dormitory housing and one course credit.