Research Requirements

  • Students start research for credit in their first year. Once a research lab is chosen, students will typically have at least a full 2-1/2 years plus two summers to work on their independent research. This extension of time and credit allocated for research increases the probability of publishing your research.
  • The combined degree is research intensive allocating more credit for research than either the bachelors or masters degree alone. At least 4 credits are allocated for undergraduate research during the first two years, and in the last three years 10 credits are allocated as graduate research credit (in addition to the 1 credit for BIO 8910).

Research Experience

1st and 2nd years of program:

  • Complete four 1-semester experiences in different laboratories
  • Execute 5 hours lab work in research lab per week; specific duties may vary, but typically could include:
    • Attending lab meetings
    • Learning techniques
    • Assisting faculty member, graduate students, and more senior undergraduates. How students are mentored will vary depending upon the particular lab
  • Attend at least one graduate thesis proposal and/or thesis defense
  • Attend research prospectus on nights when prospectus students give presentations
  • Attend at least two department seminars

3rd Year:

  • 1st semester: Make arrangements with faculty member to do thesis research and spend a minimum of 10 hrs/week in the lab working on projects.  Student takes special section of graduate research prospectus concurrent with thesis proposal workshop.
  • 2nd semester: Continue research, and begin to prepare thesis proposal; plan to work minimum of 10 hrs per week on research

4th Year:

15 – 20 hrs per week on research minimum

  • Complete written and oral thesis proposal by no later than end of 1st semester
  • Continue research (including attending lab meetings)
  • Mentor new rotation students in lab as needed
  • Attend all department seminars
  • Attend all thesis proposal and defense seminars

5th Year:

same as 4th year plus

  • Present thesis work at a national meeting
  • Defend thesis in time for May graduation

What We Offer

student experiments

The undergraduate Major in Biology at Villanova

The undergraduate Minor in Biology

Villanova's affiliated programs in the Health Professions

The undergraduate program features advanced course work that provides exposure to the primary literature and research in diverse areas of faculty expertise. Qualified students are encouraged to undertake research with mentors who are teacher-scholars in a variety of biological subdisciplines.