All faculty in the Biology department maintain active research laboratories and are committed to involving undergraduates in their work.
To see what kind of research opportunities are available, visit the faculty websites. There are opportunities in a variety of subdisciplines of biology — students and faculty do laboratory research in physiology, genetics, molecular biology and other areas. Research in ecology, evolution and aquatic sciences may include field work in forests, agricultural fields, coastal ecosystems or streams. Research can be carried out for 1 credit (3 hours/week), 2 credits (6 hours/week) or 4 credits (12 hours/week). A student may begin research as early as freshman year. The department also offers Honors and Distinguished Honors Research opportunities. Over half of Biology majors participate in research. It is not unusual for an individual student to carry out research as well as study abroad and do an internship.
Participating in research has a number of advantages — it is very satisfying to make new discoveries through one’s own hard work, critical thinking, and ingenuity. Research experience provides students with an opportunity to discover if a research career is right for them. Working closely with a faculty member and other students provides an opportunity for students to become deeply involved in the biology department. Further, research helps students learn laboratory techniques, hone their writing and speaking skills, and enhance their ability to work as part of a team; these are skills that are useful in graduate and professional schools and valued by employers. Each year, many student researchers present their work at the Ursinus College Annual Celebration of Student Achievement Day, as well as at regional, national, and international science meetings. Students publish their research in undergraduate research journals on a regular basis and have the opportunity to publish with faculty in professional scientific journals. Thus students become scientists even before graduating from college through their participation in research.