Undergraduate research is "An inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original, intellectual, or creative contribution to the discipline..." (Council on Undergraduate Research).
In the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, undergraduates have access to world-class faculty conducting research in a variety of fields. As a student in CEOAS, you have an opportunity to engage in scholarly pursuits by contributing your creativity, elbow grease, and enthusiasm. You can also choose to develop a research project into a Senior Thesis, and/or earn transcript notation as a Research Fellow. Research can take many forms, including field work, laboratory work, literature investigations, cultural inquiries, or a combination of these and other approaches. The underlying principle is simply that you develop your skills for independent inquiry in partnership with your faculty mentor.
The one thing that is absolutely essential for engaging in undergraduate research is cultivating a relationship and a developing a project with a faculty mentor. To start this process:
Additional general information can be found at Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and the Arts (URSA), OSU's portal for information on undergraduate research.Resources
While funding support for research can provide resources for materials and compensation for your time, funding is NOT required to begin engaging in research. In fact, the most successful pathway to finding research support is by first engaging in research without funding. This helps you gather the experience and knowledge necessary to then be successful finding support. So, do not let a lack of funding deter you from pursuing research opportunities.
You may earn academic credit for an independent, original research project guided by a CEOAS faculty mentor and resulting in a written report. You are assigned credit based on your major and the number of hours that you are involved with a project, where 1 credit equal 30 hours of focused academic work.
Research credit is graded on an A-F basis. It is the responsibility of your Faculty mentor to assign a grade each term you are enrolled in credit. Credit is not awarded retroactively for work done previously.
To register for research credit:
An undergraduate thesis is excellent preparation for graduate school or a career field. If you are interested in completing a thesis, plan well in advance (i.e., your junior year) and discuss this with your faculty mentor.
You are assigned credit based on your major and the number of hours you are involved with writing a thesis, where 1 credit represents 30 hours of focused academic work. Thesis credits are typically taken when the data collection phase of your research project is near completion and you are beginning to write your thesis paper.
Thesis credit is graded on an A-F basis. It is the responsibility of the thesis advisor to assign a grade each term the student is enrolled in credit. Credit is not awarded retroactively for work done previously.
To register for thesis credit:
OSU awards students completing an undergraduate research project or thesis with an honor distinction of "OSU Undergraduate Research Fellow". This distinction is noted on your transcript and you may wear a blue honor cord at graduation ceremonies.
For guidelines and to apply for transcript notation, see URSA Transcript Notation.
If you have additional questions regarding undergraduate research in CEOAS, please contact the following people:
Jessica Cardinal-Lanier, CEOAS Experiential Learning Coordinator
Larry Becker, Program Head of Environmental Sciences
Ed Brook, Program Head of Earth Sciences - Geology
Julia Jones, Program Head of Earth Sciences - Geography
Karen Shell, Program Head of Earth Sciences - Climate Science
Rob Wheatcroft, Program Head of Earth Sciences - Ocean Science
Kaplan Yalcin, Senior Instructor and REU Coordinator