Infectious Disease Undergraduate Research Program

Promoting exploration and innovation across campus

COVID-19 Operations Update:

Based on information on the UGA COVID-19 website, 2020 Maymester and Summer course offerings will be online only. Therefore, faculty-mentored undergraduate research courses IDIS 4900R, IDIS 4960R, IDIS 4970R, and IDIS 4980R will not be offered through the Department of Infectious Diseases for Maymester or summer sessions. Students who have completed one or more semesters of research in these courses and wish to write a thesis based on accumulated results may register for thesis course IDIS 4990R, but this course must be completed online. If normal operations resume for the Fall 2020 semester, the research courses will be offered in Fall 2020. For questions, please contact Ms. Jennifer Leyting at

Our Department of Infectious Diseases offers research opportunities for students pursuing bachelor’s degrees at the University of Georgia. Several faculty members within the department mentor undergraduates in their labs through IDIS-prefix undergraduate research courses. Undergraduates may also register for these courses and conduct their research project with a faculty mentor outside the department if the project focuses on a pathogen or infectious disease.

Additionally, students who obtain a research fellowship through CURO or another organization may be able to conduct their research project with a mentor within infectious diseases. With the exception of students on research fellowships, student may not receive credit for IDIS courses for the same hours for which they are paid.

How to apply

Find a mentor

Many faculty associated with the Department of Infectious Diseases have mentored undergraduate researchers in their laboratories. Students should check the faculty section of the website to learn about faculty research interests. The availability of undergraduate research slots varies in each lab, so students should email faculty individually to inquire about openings.

Choose a course

The Department of Infectious Diseases does not grant an undergraduate degree, but it does offer courses in faculty-mentored undergraduate research at both the CURO level and at the departmental level. Research in IDIS research courses may qualify toward a student’s undergraduate major-specific course requirements or as an upper-level elective. If you are seeking credit toward a major-specific course requirement, you should register for one of the CURO courses listed below.


CURO Courses
At the CURO level, four courses are offered: IDIS 4960R, IDIS 4970R, IDIS 4980R, and IDIS 4990R. The first three courses are research courses. For the first semester of research, a student registers for IDIS 4960R. If continuing with research in subsequent semesters, the student registers for the next in the series. These courses are variable-level courses (2-4 credit hours) and require an average total effort of three hours per week per credit for Spring or Fall semester, or six hours per week per credit during the Summer semester. This time commitment includes all efforts related to your research experience: time conducting experiments, documenting experiments in a research notebook, reading relevant scientific literature, preparing and presenting your research project, attending laboratory group meetings if required by your mentor, and writing a research paper. Students do NOT need to be in the UGA Honors program to register for these courses.

IDIS 4990R is a research thesis course open only to students who have completed 15 credit hours at UGA and previously taken one or more semesters of research. IDIS 4990R provides an opportunity for students to complete their research experience by writing a thesis based on accumulated research data.

To qualify to register for courses at the CURO level, a student must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Completed 15 UGA in-residence credit hours and have faculty mentor approval
  • Currently enrolled in HONS 1000H and have faculty mentor approval


Departmental Courses
At the departmental level, students register for IDIS 4900. This is a variable-credit course (1-4 credit hours per semester) and may be repeated for additional semesters up to a maximum of 16 credit hours. This course requires three hours effort per week, per credit hour for Spring or Fall semesters, or six hours effort per week, per credit hour during Summer semester. Students learn to conduct and document scientific research experiments. To register, a student must have faculty mentor approval.

Complete the necessary forms

Departmental Level

IDIS 4900 registration/syllabus departmental form

CURO Level

IDIS 4960R, 4970R, 4980R


IDIS 4990R


Biology Majors


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Majors

  • Biochemistry majors seeking to potentially fulfill major degree requirements should register for IDIS 4960R and complete the BCMB Independent Research Projects form.
  • Biochemistry majors continuing for a second semester of research should register for IDIS 4970R and complete the form.


Microbiology Majors


Genetics Majors


Please bring all forms to Ms. Jennifer Leyting’s office, room H304 in the College of Veterinary Medicine, for approval and permission to register.  Forms signed electronically can be emailed to