The undergraduate research program begins in the junior year after students have declared their majors. Starting in the fall of the junior year , Molecular Biology students are expected to read, understand, and write critiques of the primary scientific literature. In the spring, juniors take an advanced project-based laboratory course and begin their independent work in one of the research laboratories affiliated with the department. The independent research continues through the summer and the senior year. Oral presentations and poster sessions are required throughout to encourage students to gain expertise in data presentation. At the end of the senior year, students present their research findings in an original thesis. Upon graduation, Molecular Biology students have gained a strong academic foundation as well as important research skills that prove invaluable in their future careers.