2016 Undergraduate Research Projects Announced!


Jenny Cybulski (’14) and Amber Barnes (’15) collecting phytoplankton samples with Prof. Jayme Smith (’10) during SURP 2013.

Undergraduate research (UR) is a dynamic entity that is drastically different from the type graduate research that occurs at major research institutions. It allows students to learn the conventions of research through imitation and practice. It is an essential part of the internal transformation that takes place as a student begins to understand what it means to be a scholar and a researcher.

SURP is the embodiment of UGR. This model is a summer intensive research immersion experience. In an effort to expand UGR across disciplines and spur interdisciplinary projects and cross-pollination among students, SURP has typically included projects from the following departments: Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and Sociology for 2016’s SURP. This year’s projects span the topics of Alzhiemer’s, HIV drug-design, drug addition, Biodiversity in the CA Deserts and along the PCT, high-temp geothermal reactions that have implications for chemistry in space, religion and immigration, and nutraceutical validity!

Applications are due March 4th, 2016. Announcements for SURP Fellows will be made on March 11th, 2016.

New Placement Exam is Online NOW

***NEW*** VU SAPLING Chemistry Placement Exam

Courses in the Departments of Chemistry and Biology at any institution is demanding; and Vanguard University is no exception. To help you prepare for college-level chemistry at VU, the Department of Chemistry requires the placement of all incoming students who want to take chemistry (either Chem 112C/L or Chem 120/L), regardless of major. The Placement Exam that the Chemistry Department uses is sponsored through Sapling Learning. Sapling Learning is an online-assessment and homework management system. The placement exam is a free assessment. You will need to create an account (just follow the directions below).

Step 1: Purchase, Create an Account, and Take the Placement Test

1. Go to http://saplinglearning.com and click on your country at the top right.      

2a. If you already have a Sapling Learning account, log in and skip to step 3.      
2b. If you have a Facebook account, you can use it to quickly create a Sapling Learning account. Click “Create an Account”, then “Create my account through Facebook”. You will be prompted to log into Facebook if you aren’t already. Choose a username and password, then click “Link Account”. You can then skip to step 3.      
2c. Otherwise, click “Create an Account”. Supply the requested information and click “Create My Account”. Check your email (and spam filter) for a message from Sapling Learning and click on the link provided in that email.      

3. Find your course in the list (you may need to expand the subject and term categories) and click the link. Look for: Vanguard University of Southern California – Pre-Assessment – Fall14 – SIRVENT  

4. If your course requires a key code, you will be prompted to enter it. Keycode: Vanguard 

Physics to be joining Organic Chemistry as a summer school offering!

nuclearfisics_bodyThe Department of Chemistry is offering CHEM 304/L – Organic Chemistry 1 (6/2/2014-7/11/2014) and CHEM 305/L – Organic Chemistry 2 (7/14/2013-8/22/2014) this summer, including the accompanying labs!

PSCI 103/L – General Physics 1 (6/2/2014-7/11/2014) and PSCI 131/L – General Physics 2 (7/14/2013-8/22/2014) are being offered as well. If you are interested in a calculus based physics course, please email tsirvent@vanguard.edu. If enough students are interested, we will add that series to our summer offering as well!

In addition, we are offering General Chemistry 2 (5/12/2014-6/20/2014) and the accompanying lab.


More detail is listed at the Summer School Page for the Department.

Information on how to register is available here!

For a complete list of summer courses and a complete schedule, click here!

Organic Chemistry to be offered again this summer!

The Department of Chemistry is offering Organic Chemistry 1 (6/3/2013-7/12/2013) and Organic Chemistry 2 (7/15/2013-8/23/2013) this summer, including the accompanying labs! In addition, we are offering General Chemistry 2 (5/13/2013-6/21/2013) and the accompanying lab. Registration is open now!

For a complete list of summer courses and a complete schedule, click here!

Chemistry Placement Exam is NOW Online!

The Department of Chemistry has moved to an Online Placement Exam hosted through ALEKS. ALEKS is an online-assessment and homework management system. Once you purchase access to this web-based program, you will be able to take the Placement Test as well as enroll in the homework activities of your respective Chemsitry course (NOTE: Chem 112C and Chem 120 use this website for homework exercises that are a graded component of your final grade). For more information go to: Chemistry Placement Exams.

You will be directed to take the Online Placement Test on the first day of class if you have already not done so. You will not be allowed into the course until this exam has been completed.

For Questions, please email Dr. Lorance.