In CEOAS, undergraduate research refers to a range of research activities that take place in classrooms, computers, fields, labs and libraries. Undergraduate research establishes mentoring relationships between faculty and undergraduates in their academic programs at OSU. Engaging in undergraduate research helps students build confidence, develop problem-solving skills, and establish relationships with faculty members. In addition, it augments an undergraduate student’s coursework and can help solidify career plans and graduate school admissions.

There are many benefits to doing Undergraduate Research. Here are our top 5:

  1. Develop creativity, communication, problem-solving, and intellectual independence
  2. Engage in mentoring relationships with faculty outside the classroom
  3. Solidify career plans & graduate school admissions
  4. Present and/or publish research ideas and findings
  5. Earn academic credit in your major and/or Transcript Notation

Connecting and engaging with faculty members in your area of interest early is key. Here are our top tips to get you started:

  1. Engage in your classes, consult with professors in office hours
  2. Attend the Research Ready and Getting the Most From Undergraduate Research Workshops in fall and winter terms
  3. Consult with the Office of Undergraduate Research and the Arts (URSA)
  4. Attend Faculty Research Mixers in fall terms - these are fun events where faculty present their research in lightning talks with a focus on student opportunities. View the PowerPoint slides from fall 2019 and fall 2018 terms!
  5. Volunteer, work, or intern with faculty members in labs, on field sites, or on projects. See Winter 2020 Research Opportunities.
  6. Browse the CEOAS faculty directory or other colleges’ faculty directories to access faculty webpages and learn more about faculty research and areas of expertise
  7. Check out the CEOAS research pages, then drill down by research subjects areas to identify areas of focus and affiliated faculty within the college
  8. Check out ongoing annual research opportunities on our curated spreadsheet Internship/Research Programs
  9. Explore Summer Research Opportunities through the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Get engaged and involved in research early. Start by learning more about it. From professors, teaching assistants, and other undergraduate student researchers. In classes, lectures, seminars and at faculty-student research mixers. Continue by volunteering or working in a research lab, in the field, or on a research project. Take it to the next level by developing a research proposal of your own with a faculty mentor.

Approval is required. To be approved you must demonstrate that your research project is independent and original and that you have a qualified faculty mentor to guide you (if you are otherwise engaged in research activities through work, volunteer, summer research experience, etc.) you will want to complete an internship approval form. Credit is based on hours of engagement - 3 hours per week over 10 weeks = 1 credit. Credit can be spread out over multiple terms.



  • Consult with your academic advisor and faculty mentor





  • Complete the research or thesis course


Thesis and research both represent independent research. However, thesis credit is typically granted for writing a thesis, after you have completed or are close to completing your research. Thesis credits also culminate in a thesis report and a public presentation of the thesis work.

Geology & Geophysics Day ~ every spring term
Geography Day ~ every spring term

Celebrating Undergraduate Excellence (CUE) ~ every spring term
Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium (SURS) ~ every summer term

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.

Funding Specific to OSU:

OSU Branch Experiment Stations Internship Program

Summer Research Internships for Undergraduates

Federal Work Study (supports your salary, not materials for research)

Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium Scholarship Program

Oregon Sea Grant Summer Scholars

URSA Engage

OSU Libraries LURA

  • CEOAS Undergraduate Research Funds
    Funds are available to support undergraduate research in CEOAS. Available through an application/approval process, these funds are used to pay for supplies, expenses, and travel costs related to an undergraduate research project. Examples include travel to field sites, laboratory supplies, analysis fees, etc. Most funded proposals are $500 or less. Funded students are expected to share their research at an appropriate College or University event, such as G&G Day, Geography Day, Celebrating Undergraduate Excellence (CUE), etc.
  • Apply by March 2, 2020

Transcript notation is OSU’s recognition of significant engagement and accomplishment in undergraduate research and the arts with the honor distinction on your transcript “Research Fellow.” Learn more on the Transcript Notation page

Explore research conducted and presented in a variety of venues on and off campus. Here is a short list of facilities, institutes, programs, and agencies that are closely affiliated with CEOAS.

Questions? Ask Erin.

Erin Lieuallen
Experiential Learning Coordinator