Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College


Guidelines and Rules

  • Students who secure the consent of a potential research adviser will also be reviewed by the entire Department.
  • Credit will be given only for research conducted under the direct supervision of a member of the Department of Biology.
  • A student may not enroll for two credits of BIO 390 or 490 in a single semester.
  • A Biology, BFB, Environmental Science or Environment Studies major may satisfy only two of the required biology electives with BIO 390 or 490.  Biochemistry and Molecular Biology majors may satisfy only one of the required electives with a BIO or CHM 390 or 490.
  • All BIO 390 and 490 projects will culminate with a written report that is to be reviewed by at least one member of the Department (called the second reader) in addition to the adviser, prior to submission of the grade for the course. (In the case of a two-semester project, the report is prepared in the second semester.) The adviser and the second reader consult on the grade for the work in all cases. The second reader may also be involved in a consultative role during the design and implementation of the project, but this is not required for all projects. This paper must be completed by the first day of final exams.
  • In certain circumstances, an independent study report will include work from more than two semesters or from a summer and two semesters (semesters must be clearly designated).
  • Students registering for a second semester of BIO 390 or 490 must submit a progress report by the first day of final exams of the first semester. This report will be reviewed by the adviser and one other member of the department (or by the department as a whole if the student is approved as an honors candidate).
  • Regular grades will be given for all semesters of BIO 390 and 490. The P/NP option may not be exercised. The grade for work in independent study is decided by the independent study adviser in consultation with the second reader. The second reader brings to the discussion an opinion of the quality of the written work (progress report or final paper), while the adviser brings knowledge of the quality and amount of work accomplished and the degree of independence shown by the student. The grade on the written paper is one half the grade for the course and the second reader contributes half the grade on the written paper.