Student Research

Research advantages

Gain Experience:

Students are encouraged to broaden their biology education by conducting research as an undergraduate. Through such experiences, students learn that science is a dynamic field and participate in the process of gathering scientific knowledge. Undergraduate research experience also helps prepare students for graduate or professional school. Former research projects conducted by IWU students have led to presentations at various conferences (including IWU's annual John Wesley Powell Student Research Conference), publications in scientific journals, and the achievement of "Research Honors."

Read examples of student research:

Earn Credit:

With the consent of your academic advisor and your research advisor, course credit (off campus research - Bio 399, directed study - Bio 495, or research/thesis - 499) may be earned for your research experience. Students may also achieve Research Honors.

Research opportunities

At Illinois Wesleyan University:

Any student interested in participating in an undergraduate research project should approach their academic advisor and/or other faculty/staff of the biology department with whom the student is interested in conducting research. Faculty in the Biology Department at IWU conduct research in a broad range of areas. For detailed descriptions of faculty research interests, see the Faculty/Staff Profiles.

Students are also encouraged to speak to a faculty member about enrollment in Biology 395, Introduction to Research.  Through Biology 395, student will be introduced to the research tools and techniques of an area of biological research. 


Students may also find research outside of IWU.  To receive credit through Biology 399, the off-campus research course, the research must be conducted in collaboration with a research program approved by the Biology Department chair and a supervising faculty member. 

Information about opportunities for summer research programs, graduate schools, allied health schools, and fellowships is posted in the hall outside the developmental biology lab (WS102), and filed in C106.   A complied spreadsheet of available opportunities is emailed bi-weekly to biology majors and minors.

Medical school files are available in the C205 suite.

About Research Honors

Qualified students are encouraged to seek Research Honors during their senior year for their original student research projects.

Course credit (Bio 499) may be earned for work associated with the completion of an Honors Research project.

The assent of a faculty member willing to serve as project advisor is required for participation. Students must discuss their interest in research honors with their academic advisor and their research project advisor no later than the spring semester of their junior year. Moreover, a student's intention to attempt Honors Research must be declared to the Associate Provost during the semester immediately preceding achievement of senior standing.

Students may seek Research Honors in their major field (or in another field in which six course units will have been completed prior to beginning the Honors Project) provided that a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25 overall and 3.50 in the field in which honors are sought has been maintained (exclusive of military science courses). Students seeking Research Honors must present and defend their research to their project hearing committee. The project hearing committee, appointed by the faculty advisor with the consultation and consent of the student, will review the completed project and determine whether or not Honors shall be granted.