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Why Undergraduate Research?

Identified as a “high impact” educational practice by researcher George Kuh in his work for the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U), undergraduate research is often mentioned by graduates as one of the most significant learning experiences of their college years.

Undergraduate Research has four key characteristics:

  • Faculty and undergraduate researchers/artists/scholars are engaged in mentoring relationships, rather than traditional teacher-student relationships;
  • Undergraduates use research/artistic/scholarly methods that are widely accepted in their fields of study;
  • Undergraduate researchers/artists/scholars make contributions, however modest, to knowledge;
  • Undergraduates disseminate the results of their research and creative activity beyond the classroom.
  • Understanding and applying research methods and ethics while creating new knowledge
The benefits of undergraduate research are innumerable and far reaching.  But what are the immediate benefits for you?
  • One-on-one faculty interaction
  • Hands-on experience in a field of your choice
  • A safe place for intellectual risk-taking
  • Learning to think creatively and developing problem solving skills
  • Understanding and applying research methods and ethics while creating new knowledge
  • Enhancing professional communication skills
  • Exploring potential careers
  • Presenting your work in a public forum with the opportunity for professional feedback and recognition for achievement

Not only will Undergraduate Research help you develop critical-thinking, artistic, experimental design and presentation skills, it will open a world of possibilities. Undergraduate Research participants can do research in a foreign country, apply for Undergraduate Research and national fellowships, and earn academic credit for individual research and creative projects.