Undergraduate Research: Engaged Learning & Problem Solving

UNC Asheville’s nationally recognized undergraduate research program and the Chemistry Department’s longstanding tradition of undergraduate research is one of the strengths of the chemistry major. Undergraduate research is one of the best educational tools to transform students into chemists.

  • Provides hands-on experience using chemical equipment, instrumentation, and theoretical software
  • Solidifies foundational curriculum through use and practice
  • Expands students’ critical thinking and scientific writing skills to a very high level

Students “learn through research” in many courses starting from the beginning of the freshman year. And, all chemistry majors conduct at least four semesters of undergraduate research

Undergraduate research areas include:

  • synthesis of molecules to treat cancer
  • atmospheric chemical reactions and the breakdown of small molecules
  • materials science, nanomaterials and nanotechnology
  • protein-protein and protein-drug interactions relevant to cancer and human disease
  • sustainable energy generation
  • environmental and food chemistry

The chemistry department made my experience at UNCA very rewarding. The professors went above and beyond to ensure that my fellow students and I were successful. The undergraduate research program gives you valuable experience that is typically only available to graduate students. The professors in the department make a genuine effort to get to know each student. It is obvious that they are personally invested in each student's success. I am truly grateful to the chemistry department for all of the work they do for the students at UNCA. - Caleb Smith, Class of 2017