Research Opportunities by College
School of Business
As a business student, you are invited to become an associate in The Research Group, a nationally recognized consortium of university scholars, corporate leaders and undergraduate students dedicated to high quality research experiences.
Working under the guidance of noted business scholars, you’ll learn to develop, extend and test theories that help guide business strategy. In doing so, you’ll develop meaningful problem-solving skills that not only foster academic success, but life-long career success as well.
The program also gives you the opportunity to receive recognition for your research efforts.
- Presentations at regional and national undergraduate conferences
- Publications with faculty in peer-reviewed scholarly conference proceedings and journals
- Preparation and presentation of technical reports for business and public organizations
Through all these opportunities, you’ll not only obtain important skills, you’ll gain meaningful experience and build scholarship.
College of the Arts
- Create works of art, theatre, music or design
- Perform musical or theatrical works
- Research, analyze and critique musical, theatrical, artistic or design endeavors
- Research pedagogy of the arts across the college’s disciplines
Each field of study within the college defines what it means to engage in hands-on learning. In some departments, you might be immersed in a studio, while in other departments, you might be involved in a research project using historical documents or case studies.
The traditional model of scholarship and creative activity in the arts typically features the lone artist or scholar, but at Utah State, the Caine College of the Arts expects you to arrive on campus a novice and develop an apprentice relationship with a faculty mentor. This relationship gives you the opportunity to learn from your mentor’s experience and expertise before moving into more independent research projects.
Some questions faculty ask about students before beginning a research mentorship include:
- Can the student undertake some of the foundational work for a project, particularly bibliographic or historical data collection?
- Are there meaningful supportive tasks that the student could take on, such as super titles for an operatic production or program notes for a performance?
- Does the student have a particular skill that the scholar does not, such as a foreign or classical language that might contribute to the project?
- Does the student have a skill in technology that would be helpful in the design or delivery of the project like designing a webpage?
College of Agriculture and Applied Science
- Testing antiviral substances that are components of biomedical drugs
- Identifying genetic markers for economically important traits in livestock animals
- Learning to apply water intelligently (data-based water application)
- Examining the impact of production agriculture and food processing on the state’s economy
- Testing food products for acceptability by consumers
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Each field of study within the college defines what it means to engage in research. In some departments, you might be immersed in an archive, while in other departments, you might be involved in conducting research projects or case studies. Common to all research in CHaSS is a systematic inquiry or practice that is designed to further our knowledge, understanding or appreciation.
The traditional model of scholarship in the humanities features the lone researcher, but at Utah State, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences incorporates undergraduate researchers into projects with a faculty mentor. This approach gives you the opportunity to develop an apprentice relationship with your mentor, learning from their experience and expertise before moving into more independent research projects.
Research opportunities in English, history, languages and philosophy include:
- Written production, such as plays, stories, essays, poems and articles
- Professional work documents
- Multimedia productions
- Interpretation and analysis
- Studies of folklore and folklife
- Research about women and gender or cultural studies
The Department of Languages, Philosophy and Communication Studies offers additional undergraduate research resources including the Family Communication Lab.
Social Science Focus
Research opportunities with a social science focus are available to students in the departments of:
- Journalism and communication
- Military science and aerospace studies
- Political science
- Social work
- Speech communication
Research fellows in the social science division could concentrate on primary or secondary research including:
- Interviews and surveys
- Field research
- Analyses of quantitative or qualitative data related to human behavior and human societies
- The interpretation and production of media and mass communications such as newspapers or television
College of Natural Resources
- Assisting with soil sampling and analysis in the wildland soils laboratory
- Testing wildlife DNA in the conservation genetics laboratory
- Interviewing and entering data from hikers, ATV riders and other outdoor enthusiasts for studies done by the Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism
- Making field measurements of forest and rangeland plants
- Sampling streams and ponds for chemical analyses or invertebrate population sampling
- Gathering the latest published scientific information about a range of topics, from geographic and environmental education to stream flow dynamics to behavior and habitat needs of endangered North American and tropical wildlife
College of Education and Human Services
- Internet access and assistive technologies for people with disabilities
- Advanced readers at risk in elementary schools
- Gender and play among children
- Special needs infants and toddlers
- Math virtual manipulatives
- Drug dependency
- Childhood obesity
At Utah State, you can work with faculty researchers at the nation’s leading research institutions including the Center for Persons with Disabilities, the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management, the Center for the School of the Future and the Emma Eccles Jones Early Childhood Center.
College of Engineering
- Biological Engineering
- Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Computer Science
- Engineering and Technology Education
- Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
All departments have Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredited undergraduate engineering programs. As an undergraduate researcher, you can work on real-life research projects with a faculty mentor and his or her team of researchers. Undergraduate research department coordinators match student interests with a faculty member engaged in that specific area of research.
Examples of research projects include:
- Converting algae to a biofuel of interest in the Biological Engineering Department
- Studying water resources and ways to improve water quality both nationally and internationally in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
- Investigating low power communications devices for possible future implantation in the human body in Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
- Investigating the latest research in engineering education and training technology in the Engineering and Technology Education Department
- Finding the potential of thermal fluids or material sciences in nuclear engineering in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department
Research programs in the college are extensive and varied:
- Bioprocess and bioenergy
- Structural design and water quality
- Highway technology
- Networks and concurrent systems
- Space science, signal and image processing
- Aircraft operation and maintenance
- Manufacturing and aerospace engineering
Several undergraduate research fellowships are available to engineering undergraduates through the Office of Research and Graduate Studies. The College of Engineering awards 10 fellowships each year to qualified juniors to engage in engineering research activities. Many undergraduates are funded by faculty research projects.
College of Science
Undergraduate research activities offer support across disciplines to expand your understanding of research throughout the College of Science.
- Attend meetings with other fellows to evaluate your progress in coursework, discuss any issues or concerns, and learn about each other’s special interests and career goals.
- Tour labs and meet faculty in biology, chemistry and biochemistry, geology, mathematics and statistics, and physics.
- Attend seminars and other departmental activities to help you get to know other undergraduates and faculty in your major department.
You’ll participate in your own research placement after participating in cross-departmental learning opportunities. Before the end of your first semester, you’ll be teamed up with a faculty mentor in your area of interest.