Guidelines for Substituting Research for Chemistry or Chemical Biology Lab Course

Students may petition to substitute a lab requirement with equivalent knowledge and units obtained through independent research experience (such as 196 or H194 research), as determined by your research lab PI and the instructor of the lab course to be substituted. Final decisions will be made in consultation with a recent instructor.


  • At least 2 terms of research in the same laboratory prior to (or in progress at the time of) the substitution request with at least 6 research units (one term may be summer; summer research not taken for units will be considered but must be documented by your PI).
  • Must be able to provide a coherent description of your research.
  • Recommended: Participation and presentation in lab group meetings and journal clubs, which should develop your ability to understand and explain your research.

Submit the following documents to your adviser in 121 Gilman:

  1. Lab Course Substitution Request form (must include all required signatures)
  2. A recent syllabus for the lab course to be substituted (student must obtain)
  3. Justification Statement (guidelines below)

Justification Statement
A typed, 1-3 page statement including the following:

  • Title of project.
  • Goals of the research.
  • Your individual role in the project (include a description of the lab’s mentorship structure and list other researchers involved in the work and their roles)
  • Specific approaches and methods used (compare your research with the specific lab course requirements listed in the syllabus).
  • Your results to date.
  • Future plans/research outline for next semester.

Presentation of the work (mention whether you have presented or plan to present your work at lab meetings or other meetings/conferences).