Opportunities for Undergraduates


Research Opportunities

The Chemistry Department provides a variety of opportunities for undergraduates to participate in research programs during the academic year and the summer. Faculty members welcome undergraduates in their research groups and usually arrange a close collaboration with graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. These symbiotic interactions provide opportunities for students to work with the latest equipment and ideas in modern chemical science, in an environment that provides close mentoring and support. If you are interested in joining a laboratory in the department, please get in touch with the professor you wish to work with.

A student working on his research at the University of Rochester

One year (eight credit hours) of Undergraduate Research is required as part of the Bachelor of Science degree and is optional for students selecting the B.A. degree. Some chemistry majors choose to perform undergraduate research in other departments (e.g., Biochemistry, Pharmacology, etc.) either as part of their chemistry degree requirements, or as independent study courses. To get a feel for the type of research projects other students have taken on, a list of abstracts from some of our seniors is linked to below.

The Chemistry Department also provides support for students from Rochester and other institutions during the summer, using funds from a variety of sources, including the National Science Foundation.

Teaching Opportunities

There are several ways for you to become actively involved in the teaching programs in the department as a recitation or laboratory teaching assistant or as a Workshop leader. These positions offer you opportunities to put your knowledge to work to help others learn, to develop new communication and leadership skills, and to test out your interest in teaching. In addition you will find that you develop new relationships with the faculty, the department, and the College. These are paying jobs, so you can start to get some financial rewards from your studies.

The Chemistry Department is the leader in the College supported Workshop Program. There are opportunities to lead workshops in general chemistry, organic chemistry, and in some advanced courses. Most Workshop leaders also earn credit in CAS 352, Issues in Group Leadership, and CAS 355 Group Leadership Seminar. Teaching Assistantships and Workshop leader positions are available in both semesters and in the summer. Applications are available in the department office. Workshop leader positions are by invitation, but you should not hesitate to make your interests known to faculty teaching workshop courses.

Employment Opportunities

There are a number of employment opportunities for undergraduates within the Chemistry Department. These positions are not only modestly financially rewarding but are also educational and provide good work experience. Positions are available year-round for those with an inclination to work and the initiative to ask. Both clerical and technical positions are available.

The most common type of employment offered by the Chemistry Department is the job of Teaching Assistant. Undergraduates serve as TA’s both in recitations and laboratories. Applications for TA jobs can be obtained from Donna Dolan, in Hutchison Hall 404C, the semester before the course you want to TA is scheduled. Fill out the application and return it to her. If you are selected, you will be contacted. Chemistry courses are also taught in the summer, so a few TA’s are needed during this time. The Chemistry Department is the leader in a College-supported program to provide Workshop opportunities for students in organic chemistry and general chemistry. This program provides employment opportunities for many Workshop Leaders each semester. Ask Donna Dolan (dolan@chem.rochester.edu) to direct you to one of the appropriate faculty members if you are interested in becoming a workshop leader.

Students seeking employment within the University of Rochester are also encouraged to utilize the Student Employment program, and FAJobLink which is accessible through Blackboard. Through FAJobLink, students can create a profile, search for jobs, save searches, and apply for positions. For more information go to: http://enrollment.rochester.edu/financial-aid/seo.

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Contact us...

We welcome any questions you may have. Please feel free to consult with a faculty member of the chemistry Undergraduate Studies Committee, or contact:

Deb Contestabile
Undergraduate Program Coordinator
& Course Administrator, Chemistry Dept.

Office: Hutchison Hall, Room 454
Phone: (585) 276-3663
Email: ugradadm@chem.rochester.edu