Undergraduate Research

The purpose of the University is not the acquisition of knowledge, but the search for deeper knowing.  Rather than imagine your education as downloading information or facts, reimagine your education as a process of seeking, questioning, probing, arguing, and creating. The primary responsibilities of faculty are to research, teach, and guide students.  The primary responsibilities of students are to learn how to learn and to continue this quest for the rest of your lives. Faculty are primarily involved in the search for and creation of new knowledge, but faculty invite students to join with them, to learn methods and approaches. After engaging in research with faculty supervision, students may dream their own questions and create their own projects.  In these ways, students chart their own paths toward original questions and deeper knowing.

The Process:

Step 1:
Students explore research methods through an introductory course to a field of knowledge (for example, ENGL-090, FMST-100, JUPS-202, PSYC-002, or SOCI-201)

Step 2:
Students join with faculty in a research project, serving as research assistants via GUROP.

Step 3:
Students propose their own original research projects, seeking summer fellowship funding via Kalorama, Raines, Andretta, GUROP, etc.

Step 4:
Students bring back their summer research and develop this material into a thesis, capstone, or independent project in the senior year. Students present their research via on-campus symposia and off-campus conferences (supported by PURPAS grants).

Step 5:
Students use their undergraduate research projects as stepping stones to further research, creative projects, fellowships, jobs, graduate study, public service, etc.

Step 6:
Continue to ask questions and pursue deeper knowing as key activities in lives of purpose.