Undergraduate Research

Pie chart showing 53% of undergrads graduate with research experience

Like an internship in your major, undergraduate research is an in-depth experience that complements your coursework and helps you try on career ideas. You learn the methods and practice of scholarly research and focus on making an original intellectual or creative contribution to a discipline—in anything from art history to economics to biology. Your contribution may be large, such as a new discovery or a game changing way of thinking in that discipline. Or it may be more modest, such as an extension of existing ideas and descriptions that broaden our knowledge or deepen the practice of the field.

  • An undergraduate research experience is open to any student who is qualified and chooses to pursue one.
  • Research opportunities are available in all disciplines, including the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.

Earn Academic Credit for Research

student standing in front of research poster

One path for conducting research for academic credit is through Research Independent Study. Courses entitled Research Independent Study are individual research courses in a field of special interest under the supervision of a faculty member. The central goal is a substantive paper or written report containing significant analysis and interpretation of a previously approved topic. Such research independent study courses bear a Research (R) code and satisfy general education research requirements.

Research Independent Study Guidelines & Policy

Get Started at the Undergraduate Research Support Office

Check out different undergraduate research programs and opportunities at the Undergraduate Research Support Office. URS works to connects students from all majors to research opportunities across campus, and select opportunities at other universities. Your research support comes from many sources, from federally-funded student research programs to endowments and alumni gifts. You can conduct research during the academic year or during the summer. 

Undergraduate Research Support Office

Earn Graduation with Distinction Through Your Research

If you're interested in research, consider earning academic honors through Graduation with Distinction. This program recognizes students who demonstrate academic excellence through the successful completion of a substantive written project evaluated by a committee of three faculty members. Traditionally, such work will be in your major, but all academic departments and programs offering a major, including Program II, participate in this program.

Graduation with Distinction Guidelines & Policy