Supervised Research

MCB 4911

Microbiology and Cell Science majors with a University of  Florida GPA of 3.0 or higher are encouraged to seek out a faculty research  laboratory and register for supervised research, MCB 4911.  Students  interested in doing undergraduate research should investigate different professors  areas of research and find an individual doing research in an area of interest to them.

Finding a Mentor

An excellent starting point is to access the MCB 4911 Contact Links  below where you will find a lists various instructors/faculty who have had Microbiology majors do research for credit in their labs. The list also includes a link to their research page. If you find someone of interest to you then proceed to contact the professor via email.  You should also plan to visit them in person during their posted office hours.

Another good starting point is to visit the main administrative offices of different departments (microbiology, biochemistry, molecular genetics and microbiology, zoology, horticultural sciences, environmental engineering, food science, and obtain a listing of the professors and their individual research areas.  Do not be discouraged if your initial contact is unable to accommodate you in their lab; ask them is they might know of someone else doing similar research.  There are numerous professors on campus who would welcome the opportunity to have an undergraduate in their laboratory.

Some professors may wish to review your transcript.  Professors are interested in students with qualified backgrounds to enable them to be successful in the laboratory setting.  Be prepared to make a commitment to the research effort for at least a year; it is difficult to do a meaningful research  project for a professor in one semester.  Professors invest substantially  in their undergraduates and a long-range commitment is expected.

Determining Credit Hours with Work Hours Per Week

When a professor is located, discussions will determine the amount of time you will spend in the lab, your weekly schedule in the lab, the number of credits you should register  for, and your responsibilities in the lab. The university/department guidelines for hours per week per credit hour for each semester are:

  • A maximum of 6 credits as an undergraduate major.   Once you max out at 6 credits you can continue your research for 0 credits.
  • Fall and Spring Semesters:  You can register for 0-3 credits.  1 credit = 3hrs. per week in the lab. (16 weeks total for one semester) Students may register for no more than 3 credits maximum per semester.  However, we recommend a maximum of 2 credits per semester so that you can spread out your research for credit to at least 3 full semesters.
  • Summer C Semester: 1 credit – 4 hrs. per week in the lab. (12 weeks total for Summer C). Students may register for no more than 2 credits for Summer C (department policy).
  • Summer A or Summer B – 1 credit = 6 hrs. per week in the lab. (6 weeks total for A and 6 weeks for B). Students may register for no more than 1 credit for Summer A or 1credit for Summer B. If a student is planning to do undergraduate research for the entire summer, they should register for Summer C.
  •  You may also choose to register for MCB 4911 for 0 credits over summer.  If you only register for MCB 4911 for 0 credit, and nothing else with it, you will be assessed fees for 1 credit hour.


You must be a Microbiology and Cell Science major and you are required to complete the MCB 4911 Supervised Research Form with your mentor. You can stop by the the main office and pick one up or you download the form off the web (see link below).  Please return the form to the Microbiology academic advisor in room 1047 prior to the last day of registration. We cannot register you for supervised research without this form.

MCB 4911 may be repeated for a maximum of 06 credits. If you previously registered for supervised research in any other department (prefix) such as BMS 4905 (11), CHM 4905 (11), ZOO 4905 (11), IDH 4905 (11), the credits earned will be included in the 6 credit maximum allowed for undergraduate research. Since Fall, 2012 the College of Medicine has required all students to register under BMS 4905 (11). Microbiology majors may do so but we recommend a maximum of 2 credits per semester and a total of 06 during the undergraduate degree. Please talk to your individual mentors in that college to verify the course they will approve you for.

Reporting Your Final Grade

Beginning Summer A, 2014 the students will be assigned S/U grades for their research.  Final grades are determined by your lab mentor. The department academic advisor will email your mentor at the end of the semester for your final S/U grade.

Research Opportunities – Mentor Lists

Opportunities for undergraduate research are available through the Department of Microbiology and Cell Science and other programs at the University of Florida:

Registration Forms

MCB 4915

This course is restricted to Microbiology and Cell Science majors who are in the CALS Honors Program only. Please refer to the information above since it is the same with the exception of the course number and form.

MCB 6905

This course and form is restricted to Microbiology and Cell Science majors enrolled in the Combined Degree Program as well as for Microbiology and Cell Science graduate students. Please refer to the information above since it is the same with the exception of the course number and Form

Policies for the new course MCB 4905 – Individual Study

  • Learning objectives will be customized to the student’s topic of study.   This course is for study in an individual topic/course other than supervised research.
  • 1-3 Credit Hours:  Students are expected to devote a minimum of three hours per week of actual work in this class for each credit in which they are enrolled.  Students can enroll in a total of 6 credit hours of this course during their undergraduate study at UF.  Students should carefully discuss with their faculty adviser the time expectations for completion of the requirements of the class, and these expectations should be clearly articulated in the MCB 4905 Individual Study Contract Form.
  • The final letter grade will be assigned by the individual study supervisor.  The department advisor will contact the supervisor directly via email for the final grade.