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Finding out about working on field or laboratory research with SFSU Biology faculty (Biol 699)

Undergraduate students may perform independent research in an SFSU laboratory or in the field under the direction of a member of the Department for 1 to 3 units per semester:

Biol 699 Independent Study

Typically, Biol 699 students

  • have senior standing in biology
  • a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA
  • obtain approval of the Department, instructor (research supervisor), and major advisor

The student must present a written detailed report of the work accomplished to the supervisor or Department.

This approval is demonstrated by filling out and submitting the Petition for Course for Individual Study (Biol 699/899).

Finding a research supervisor:

  • Consider your instructors as potential research supervisors, especially if you perform well in the class
  • Review the Biology Faculty Profles to identify faculty performing research that interests you - student projects typically involve studies that are directly related to the main research program of the lab
  • Consult with fellow students who are currently Biol 699 students - they may have useful insight about life in the lab

Keep in mind the time commitment for independent study - supervisors may expect anywhere from 5 hours per week to 20 hours per week or more, depending on how many Biol 699 units you take. It is important to discuss expectations for time commitment BEFORE approval of the Independent Study petition


How to fill out the Independent Study Petition

  1. Prepare a draft of the SUMMARY of the OBJECTIVES, METHODS, and EVALUATION PROCEDURES for the independent study project.
  2. Review the draft SUMMARY with your Advisor and your RESEARCH SUPERVISOR for approval.
  3. Obtain the Permit Number to enroll in Biol 699 from your RESEARCH SUPERVISOR.
  4. Submit the approved form with the final summary to the Department Office for final approval.

Typically, at the end of the semester, the student submits a written summary of their semester progress to the research supervisor.

Note: Cell & Molecular Biology degree student who wish to use Biol 699 to meet their upper division elective lab component requirement, must have the approval of both their Research Supervisor and their Major Advisor PRIOR to enrolling in Biol 699.  There is a 3-unit limit for use of Biol 699 to meet major requirements.

Back to Undergraduate Advising for Biology Students