Kadir Hussein conducting undergraduate research
Kadir Hussein

A great way to gain excellent laboratory experience is to register for Directed Studies (Chem 2094 or 4094).

What should I do to participate in Directed Studies?

Make arrangements with a faculty adviser

  • Look over the research that is being done in our department.
    • If you are interested in a particular area of chemistry, check out the faculty and their research.
  • Pick out about 3 to 4 projects that seem interesting to you and contact the faculty you want to work with.
    • Be specific about how their research interests you.
    • Ask to meet with them to talk about opportunities
    • Sell yourself:
      • "I have two years to commit to a project and hope to go on to graduate school."
      • No one will want you for one term so commit to at least two terms.
  • Once you've made a decision, ensure that you have an agreement with the faculty member.
    • Focus on how much time you need to be in the lab for the number of registered credits.
  • It is possible to work with another professor in a different department, as long as it has a chemistry component.
  • Contact Stephanie Stathopoulos at stephs@umn.edu for a permission number.
    • Let her know who you are working for.

How do I register for Directed Studies?

You can register for Directed Studies in three different ways:

  1. 20924—designed for entry-level students, available only to College of Liberal Arts students for one of the Advanced Chemistry Lab requirements.
  2. 4094W—writing intensive (mandatory written report of 10-15 pages)
  3. 4094V—same as 4094W, but for Honors students (senior thesis of 30-40 pages and oral presentation to three-member faculty committee)

How are credits handled?

  • You can only use two credits for the Advanced Chemistry Lab Requirement.
    • Any credit beyond those two are used as general elective credits.
  • Credit assignments vary
    • Normally, each credit earned requires 45 hours of academic work a semester.
  • There is no pay connected with this work.
    • You can not get credit and pay during the same semester.

What are the writing requirements?

  • As a writing intensive course, CHEM4094W(V) requires that you submit a final report on your directed studies.
  • A copy of the final report from the student must be submitted to the Undergraduate Office.


  • Your faculty adviser should submit both the final grade and the one-page summary in PDF format, simultaneously, via email to Stephanie Stathopoulos, stephs@umn.edu.

Due date

  • The final grade and report must be submitted no later than the last day of final exams.
  • A final grade will not be assigned for the course without submission of the report.


  • The one-page summary report must contain your name and ID number, your adviser's name, the enrollment term covered by the report, and a summary of the work completed.
    • Page should be formatted using 12-point type and have 1-inch margins.
  • Full reports, including the length, any required sections and referencing, is at the discretion of your faculty adviser.


    • Majors
    • 135 Smith Hall
    • Stephanie Stathopoulos, Assistant to Director of Undergraduate Studies
    • stephs@umn.edu
    • (612) 624-8008
    • Director of Undergraduate Studies
    • Professor David Blank
    • blank@umn.edu