Undergraduate Research

The purpose of our 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 their 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.

Dream It — Do It

After engaging in research with faculty supervision, students may dream up their own questions and create their own projects. In these ways, students chart their own paths toward original questions and deeper knowing.

Six Ways That You Can Participate in Undergraduate Research:

#1: Explore Methods

Students explore research methods through an introductory course to a field of knowledge (for example, ENGL 1090 – Critical Methods, FMST 1100 – Gateway to Film & Media Stds, JUPS 2010 – Nonviolence Theory & Practice, PSYC 2000 – Research Methods & Statistics, or SOCI 2901 – Methods of Social Research)

#2: Join a Project

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

#3: Start Your Own Research Project

Students propose their own original research projects, seeking summer fellowship funding via Davis, Kalorama, RainesAndrettaGUROP, etc.

#4: Present Your Findings

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 (including the College Academic Council Research Colloquium in the spring) and off-campus conferences (supported by PURPAS grants).

#5: Expand on the Experience

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

#6: Keep Asking Questions

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

Student Voices

Undergraduate Research News

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News Story

How Machine Learning Could Transform Work in Physics Labs Across the Country  

Recently published research from Bradley Fugetta (C’23), Gen Yin and collaborators could transform the way physics labs around the world study the magnetic properties of different materials

January 22, 2024

A girl with long, dark hair and fair skin stands outside and smiles. It is fall so the leaves behind her are yellow. She wears a dark suit jacket and a green blouse.

News Story

Biology Researcher Naomi Greenberg (C’24) Awarded Marshall Scholarship to Pursue Dual Passions in Genetic Research and Science Communication

Researcher and writer Naomi Greenberg (C’24) is one of five Hoyas to be named a 2024 Marshall Scholar

December 11, 2023

A young man softly smiles. He wears a striped green sweater and a necklace with a pendant in the shape of Africa. He has short hair, well-groomed facial hair, and dark eyes

News Story

Dismantling Systems of Oppression with Transformative Education: Kwabena Sekyere-Boateng (C’23) Wants to Start in the Computer Lab

Kwabena Sekyere-Boateng (C’23) completed a 10-week research fellowship examining the complex ways in which technology can both reinforce and tear down systems of hierarchy and oppression

September 22, 2023