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MVZ Undergraduate Opportunities

Current Undergrads Click Here

MVZ Student and Volunteer Application

If you are not a UC Berkeley student, please visit Volunteer Opportunities
Overview for Prospective Undergrads

The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology offers many exciting opportunities for UC Berkeley undergraduates to work with museum faculty, curators, graduate students, and other researchers in the lab or field. These may include for-credit, volunteer, and paid (work-study & other) positions. We seek motivated students that have interests that match well with our research and collection activities.

All UC Berkeley undergraduates interested in MVZ positions (for-credit, volunteer, or paid) must complete the MVZ Undergraduate and Volunteer Application.

Learn about our Undergraduate Opportunities below:

>> Click here to learn more about the undergraduate program and structure
>> Click here to read about the experiences of former MVZ Undergraduates

Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP)

Volunteer and For-credit Opportunities:
URAP is a UC Berkeley program that gives undergraduate students the opportunity to gain valuable research experience. It is the core of our undergraduate program and the primary venue by which students participate in the museum as volunteers and to earn credit.

URAP opportunities may be taken for-credit (1-3 units depending on number of work hours per week) or for 0 units (Volunteers). Note that both for-credit students and volunteers must be prepared to commit a minimum of 5-6 hours per week.

>> View current projects here

To Apply:

Independent Research for Department/College Credit

These are student-initiated research opportunities to assist in a faculty led research lab on a project working directly with a faculty member or with one of his/her postdoctoral scholars or graduate students. For MVZ faculty labs, these positions may be filled through the URAP Program or through departmental credit programs (e.g. IB 99/199, MCB, CNR, etc.).

UC Berkeley students who are particularly interested in the research topics of a lab group should:

  • Complete the MVZ Undergraduate and Volunteer Application once (no need to complete each semester)
  • Contact the faculty, postdoc, or graduate student directly to see what opportunities may be available for independent research projects (be sure to let them know you have completed the MVZ Student and Volunteer Application)

See Tips for Contacting Faculty.

Please note that MVZ faculty curators may post undergraduate positions in their labs as part of the URAP program.

Other Volunteer Opportunities

From time to time, miscellaneous volunteer opportunities outside the URAP program may become available. These positions will be advertised using the MVZ Undergrduate and Volunteer email list-serve. If you are interested in these opportunities, please complete an MVZ Undergraduate and Volunteer Application and you will be added to the email list.

Paid Positions

The MVZ typically hires a few students each year with federal work-study support as part of their financial aid package to assist either in the collections or the administrative office. Please refer to the UC Berkeley Work-Study webpage for current listings.

Curatorial Assistants:
Curatorial Assistants work in the Herp, Bird, or Mammal collections. Limited paid positions are open to advanced UC Berkeley undergraduate students who have held previous URAP or other student positions in the MVZ.

Other Ways To Engage

Are you fascinated by the natural history of birds, mammals, reptiles and/or amphibians? There are many classes offered through the IB, MCB, and ESPM Departments that are taught by the Faculty Curators and Affiliated Faculty of the MVZ. In addition, many of the classes offered by museum faculty have field trips included in the curricula.

The MVZ hosts seminar series that are run within the museum: MVZ Lunch and Herp Group. All are welcome to attend and UC Berkeley students may take these seminars for credit. Please see our seminar page for additional information.

Do you love museums and libraries? You can learn more about our collections online, search our online database ("Arctos") for your favorite animals, read about our history, and see the new directions we're taking in our research and data collection.


Click the resource links below for additional information.


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