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CSTEM College of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

Chem 398, 399, 498, 499: Which Do I Select?

Chemistry & Biochemistry Majors

Lab (499) or Library (498) research? If you plan to go to graduate school or to work in a lab in your career, you should try to do your research in a lab. If you are planning to go to Medical, Veterinary, Dental, or Pharmacy School, either 498 or 499 may be acceptable. However, professional schools may look favorably on laboratory research in their admissions process. Check their admission criteria to be sure. If you plan to go into a career other than lab research or grad school, either 498 or 499 may be suitable.

Can I take more than 2 semesters of independent research?

Yes! We encourage students to begin their research experience as soon as possible. The more semesters of research you can take, the more likely you are to get meaningful, sometimes even publishable, results, and the more you will understand your project.

If you find yourself at CSUSM for an extra semester, you can also do a 398 or 399 after finishing 498 or 499. You can do your 498/499 thesis presentation at the end of the 398/399 as well.

If you have not taken the classes required for the research lab of your choice, you may consider taking a unit of Chem 398 to investigate the background material needed to work in that laboratory.

Chemistry Minors & Non-chemistry Majors

Chemistry minors and majors out of chemistry & biochemistry may take the Chem 398/399 or Chem 498/499 courses as electives.

Biological sciences majors may also perform research in a chem & biochem lab for the biology 498 course with the permission of the research mentor in chem & biochem and the department chair of Biology.