Utah State is home to one of the earliest undergraduate research efforts in the nation, second only to MIT. In 1975, the USU Undergraduate Research Program began when President Glen L. Taggart implemented his vision for Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunities grants. Today, 35 years later, URCO grants still give undergraduate students the opportunity to work alongside experienced faculty mentors and receive funding for their scholarly work. Since its inception, hundreds of students have enhanced their research experience through URCO. The 35th anniversary of the Undergraduate Research Program in 2010 celebrates the accomplishments achieved throughout the years.
Today, USU’s undergraduate research program provides students with numerous opportunities to share their work with the USU community and with other audiences across the nation. They participate in events such as Research on Capitol Hill and the Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research, where they share their ideas with government officials and other students from around the state. Many students even present their research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, held annually at various universities across the nation. Undergraduate researchers at USU have an impressive list of achievements that includes Goldwater and Rhodes scholarships, participation in the USU Research Fellows program, and the USU Undergraduate Researcher of the Year awards—the Peak Prize. Students can even receive a designation on their transcript setting them apart as researchers. In 35 years, the Undergraduate Research Program has grown significantly, and has provided USU students with a legacy of hands-on learning.