Undergraduate Research

The Department of Zoology believes that undergraduate research is an important part of the educational experience at Weber State University. Students that participate in the research process gain valuable experience and skills that are not easily conveyed in the classroom setting.  Participation in research promotes critical thinking and problem solving skills and fosters a mentor-student relationship between faculty and student.

Zoology students are also given the opportunity to receive course credit for research with a faculty member. You are also encouraged to take Readings in Zoology (Zool 4830) and Problems in Zoology (Zool 4800). These courses permit advanced students to work closely with faculty and provide exposure to scientific literature, as well as participation in ongoing research projects. 

Independent Study

In addition to formal courses, you may study zoology for college credit under faculty supervision outside of the classroom. The following three courses allow students to perform undergraduate research by studying material that is not covered in traditional courses or delving more deeply into a certain area of interest.

Problems in Zoology (Zool 4800) is for students desiring to conduct small-scale field or laboratory research projects. To participate you should contact the faculty member whose own interests most closely encompass what you are considering. You should confer with the faculty member that you desire to work with during the semester before you enroll for problems credit. Credit ranges from 1-4 hours for this course depending upon the scale of the problem considered. You may also obtain credit in Zool 4800 while assisting a faculty member with his/her research. Note: No more that 4 credit hours of Zool 4800 may count toward the Zoology major upper division electives requirements.

Readings in Zoology (Zool 4830) is similar to Zool 4800 except that the approach is to investigate a subject via library readings instead of through original research. Enrollment in Zool 4830 is similar to Zool 4800 in that you should arrange to work closely with one faculty member. Credit can vary from 1-4 hours. Note: Zool 4830 does not count toward your major upper division electives credit hours but may count toward your upper division credit requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree.

Thesis (Zool 4970) This course provides an opportunity for research of longer duration (normally three quarters) and in greater depth than that undertaken in Zool 4800. You should select a thesis topic and faculty advisor no later than your junior year. The faculty advisor will direct the student in selecting a committee, defining the problem, conducting the research and reporting the results. Registration for thesis credit will occur in the final quarter of your senior year. Credit is two hours.


Weber State UniversityOgden, Utah 84408

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