Special Opportunities for Undergraduate Majors

Independent study and undergraduate research

Many Chemistry and Biochemistry majors are engaged in undergraduate research, with some exceptional students beginning as early as their freshman year. Students must enroll in a course to participate (CHM 177, 277, 377, 477 or 490) and may receive credit (but no letter grade initially) for this experience. After one semester of research graded credit/no credit, a student and professor may agree that research may be conducted for a letter grade. a student and professor may agree that research may be conducted for a letter grade. A student can take up to 4 total credits of graded undergraduate research (CHM 277, 377, 477, 480) in our Department. The professor and student must agree on grading criteria when the student enrolls for graded credit.

There are several requirements for this opportunity:

  • All arrangements are made individually between the student and a particular instructor.
  • A minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 2.3 in Chemistry courses is required.
  • An Independent Study Permit must be submitted for registration in Undergraduate Research or Independent Study courses each semester.

For more information, please see our Undergraduate Research page.

Departmental Honors

Departmental Honors is a special recognition awarded to students who have completed Honors research in our department. Students apply for the program in the spring of their Junior year. To be eligible for this recognition, students must complete the following three criteria:

  1. Candidates must register for a minimum of two terms of research, including at least one term of CHM 480. Enrollment in research courses requires independent study approval by the faculty mentor and the chair of the department. A letter grade must be given for CHM 480 and the grading of this course is the responsibility of the faculty mentor.
  2. Candidates must maintain at least a 3.50 Chemistry/Biochemistry GPA to be eligible for Departmental Honors and have 25 credit hours of Chemistry/Biochemistry course work.
  3. Candidates must submit to the Honors and Awards Committee a written report summarizing the work accomplished in CHM 480. This report is to be submitted three weeks before graduation. A rough draft of the report is due to the Honors and Awards Committee by March 31st.

Contact the Departmental Honors Program coordinator (Dr. Meredith Erb) for more information. Note: Departmental Honors is different from University Honors.

Honors courses

The Department offers several General Chemistry (14X.H) and Organic Chemistry (25X.H) Honors courses. They are only open to students in Miami's Honors Program. If you are interested in these offerings, contact an advisor. In some cases you may be required to take both an Honors lecture and the corresponding lab to receive an Honors experience as defined by the Honors Program. Also, you may be expected to take both courses in a two-semester sequence.

Teacher certification

Both our BA Chemistry and BA Biochemistry degrees are compatible with teacher licensure. Students who wish to combine teacher licensure with an Arts and Science major must observe the rules, procedures, and restrictions pertaining to admission to a licensure cohort as outlined by the College of Education, Health & Society. For information, contact the Office of Student Services in the College of Education, Health & Society, 202 McGuffey Hall, 513-529-6317, ehs@MiamiOH.edu.

Study abroad

If you are interested in study abroad, you should meet with an academic advisor in your first year as significant adjustments in your schedule may be necessary. Studying abroad during the summer or winter term (J-term) is the easiest option to schedule and should not require any changes in your schedule as outlined in this site. BA Chemistry and Biochemistry majors can usually free up a semester in their junior year by careful planning. BS Chemistry and Biochemistry majors have more course requirements and may have more difficulty in scheduling a semester abroad. Some students are able to schedule this if they entered Miami with AP credit for several science and math courses. Most students who study abroad choose courses to fulfill Miami Plan requirements such as humanities or social science courses.


Each year the Department selects students to receive awards, citations, and scholarships. The recipients are selected on the basis of academic and other achievements. The scholarships are awarded with the concurrence of the Miami University Scholarship Office. If you are officially listed as a chemistry or biochemistry major you will be considered, without having to apply.

Student organizations

There are several student organizations of interest to Chemistry and Biochemistry majors. The Miami Chemical Society is open to all students interested in Chemistry and Biochemistry. Meetings emphasize topics of interest to those anticipating graduate studies and/or careers in Chemistry or Biochemistry. Student affiliate membership in the American Chemical Society is also available to Chemistry majors. Contact the Miami Chemical Society for details or ACS directly. Miami M.E.D. is an honorary organization for premedical students. Many meetings are open and feature speakers from the field of medicine or medical education. Information on many student organizations in healthcare related fields can be found under advising section on the website for the Mallory-Wilson Center for Healthcare Education.