• Utah State University’s undergraduate research program was established in 1975.

  • Our undergraduate research program is the second oldest in the nation following only behind MIT.

  • Undergraduate Researchers are more likely to receive prestigious scholarships such as the Goldwater, Rhodes, and Udall.

  • Research helps better prepare students to get a job or go to graduate school.

Undergraduate Research Guidebook 2015

What is Undergraduate Research? Why should I get involved?

Undergraduate Research allows you to passionately explore your curiosity. While getting a degree gives you a foundation of knowledge, research allows you to explore further and ask why and how things work. Research allows you to ask questions that haven’t been answered yet and find answers for yourself. Through research you can apply your education to solve problems and explore your field in the “real world.”

Maybe you want to better understand the quality of life in nursing homes. Maybe you want to explore ways that engineering testing methods can be improved. Maybe you want to know how music affects the human mind. Maybe you want to explore microbes and their influence on humans and other organisms. There are opportunities to ask questions and conduct research in all fields. There are many things that are still unknown in every field. Research allows you to explore the unknown.

Research is about being passionate and curious. It is about customizing your education to things that fascinate you! Research gives students the skills to think for themselves, critically evaluate information, and use their creativity to explore.

What do students gain from Undergraduate Research?

Analytical Skills

Analytical Skills

Research requires you to think critically about the question at hand and weigh different answers objectively.

Leadership

Leadership

Research builds students’ confidence helping them hold a leadership role in projects.

Communication

Communication

Teamwork helps build communication skills that are critical in working in any environment.

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting

Research doesn’t always go as planned. There can be unexpected results. Research gives you skills to analyze problems and find solutions.

Writing Skills

Writing Skills

Writing skills are crucial in receiving grants, communicating research, and collaborating. Being involved in research will strengthen these skills.

Creativity

Creativity

Thinking creatively helps you to find new ways to explore in research. It is being faced with a problem and thinking in a unique way to solve it.

How to Get Involved

Students have the opportunity to get involved in research in a variety of ways.  You may do an independent project, work in a lab, art studio, or participate in field research.  Undergraduates may explore a different research projects before finding a project that they “click” with, and that’s okay! If you are passionate about your research, your project will be more likely to succeed and you will gain more from it.  You can conduct research within your major or outside of your major.  Interdisciplinary research is encouraged and supported.  Explore different options and find something that interests you!

Learn about Research by College