What you need to know about ASU Online’s summer science labs

May 30, 2023 · 4 min read · By ASU Online
Students in Arizona State University’s online science programs benefit from the flexibility of an online education and the in-person laboratory experiences of an on-campus education. These summer lab experiences allow you to graduate with practical, hands-on skills desired by employers. Read on for details and how to prepare for your campus experience.

One of the key elements that sets ASU Online’s science programs apart is our on-campus laboratory experiences. Respected by professional health programs and the science industry, these in-person lab experiences provide you with a rigorous and legitimate science education, traditionally only available to students pursuing on-campus degrees.

“It has been amazing,” said Brittney Guy, a recent Bachelor of Science in biological sciences with a concentration in biomedical sciences graduate. “I was really stressed about it because I took the classes a long time ago. However, the professors, the TAs and everybody has been so supportive and helpful in making me feel as though I've been here for the last four years. It really put my mind at ease being on-campus, and the labs have just been amazing. Meeting new people and my professors that I only saw on zoom for the last two years has been awesome."


Gain hands-on experience with in-person labs

Hands-on experience with laboratory equipment and procedures is important to the learning process for science majors. For this reason, ASU Online students take the same chemistry and biochemistry laboratory courses as on-campus students. Completed over the summer at ASU’s Tempe, Arizona, campus, or at an accredited school near you, these in-person labs equip you with the skills and competencies needed to pursue a successful career in a wide range of disciplines, including biological sciences, molecular science, forensic science, justice studies and more.

These courses include: 

  • CHM 235 - Elementary Organic Chemistry
  • CHM 237 - Organic Chemistry I
  • CHM 238 - Organic Chemistry II
  • CHM 326 - Analytical Chemistry
  • BCH 367 - Elementary Biochemistry
  • BCH 467 - Analytical Biochemistry


How long are the labs and when do they take place?

Summer labs typically run from May to July, with several date ranges to choose from within those months. While the exact dates may vary each year, the final schedule for the upcoming summer is generally released in late January or early February.

Lab times vary, as they’re dependent on the courses taken. In-person lab work extends approximately five days for three-credit lab courses. If you choose to take two courses, these labs can be taken back to back in summer A and summer B sessions.

When registering for these courses, remember to sign up for both the lab and recitation sections. The recitation dates are when assignments will be completed, while the lab dates are when you’ll physically be on campus. The lecture component must be completed a semester prior to the lab component.

In addition to physically coming to the lab, you should allocate 1–2 hours each day for study time while on campus. Keep in mind that you may also have additional classes with labs or other assignments due during the summer. Plan your schedule accordingly to ensure you can manage your workload effectively and make the most of your time in the labs.

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Meet four ASU Online students who traveled to Arizona for a summer lab opportunity. They share their experiences conducting chemistry experiments and learning side-by-side with their professor and peers.

Where to stay

If you're coming from out of town, it's important to consider the logistics of traveling to and staying in Tempe, Arizona, where ASU is located. You’re responsible for your travel costs, so plan your budget accordingly.

For accommodations, many students choose to stay in the Tooker House, conveniently located on Tempe’s campus. The rates for Tooker House typically start at $65 per night, with an additional $45 linen charge. Keep in mind that these prices may vary each year, and taxes and fees aren’t included.

You can also explore local hotels that offer discounts to ASU students. You could also arrange your own accommodations through Airbnb or rentals at your own expense.

If you plan to drive or rent a car, you'll need to consider parking arrangements. The Fulton Center Parking Garage offers permits specifically for summer lab students. The rates for these parking permits are $29 for a nine-day pass or $40 for a 14-day pass. These permits must be purchased in advance by the specified due date. To request a permit, email smsonlinelabs@asu.edu.


Additional tips and recommendations

As you embark on your summer lab experience, here are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Hydration: Arizona is known for its intense heat with high temperatures in the summer usually exceeding 100°F (38°C), so it's essential to stay hydrated throughout your stay. Make sure to drink plenty of water and take breaks as needed to avoid dehydration.
  • Local activities: While focusing on your labs is important, take some time to explore the local area. Arizona offers a variety of activities, such as early morning hikes and local eateries. Download the ASU Mobile App to discover more about nearby attractions and how to navigate ASU’s campus, and visit TempeTourism.com to find things to do in the area.
  • Immunizations: It’s required by law that all students attending in-person classes at ASU must provide proof of immunizations. For more information or questions on immunizations, email SMSlab_immunizations@asu.edu.


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