Undergraduate research program

Research is experiential education. As an undergraduate, you can work with faculty, graduate students and other undergraduates to transform your knowledge into actual practice –whether it is working with assessing the impact homeownership has on low-income families and communities or creating your own entrepreneurial experience to launch a nonprofit. 

Quick facts:

  • Students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Students can work a minimum of 10 hours per week on research with faculty.
  • Students receive $500 for first semester, $750 for second semester and $1,000 every subsequent semester of participation in the program.
  • Spring, Summer and Fall semesters all count as semesters for the program.
  • Students must work on a faculty research project.


The Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions began its Undergraduate Research Program in fall 2006.  The program is designed to provide undergraduate students with research, presentation and publication experience.  Faculty members within the Watts College of Public Service play a crucial role in helping undergraduate students engage in research.  Any faculty member that wants or needs assistance with research is encouraged to work directly with an undergraduate student of their choosing.

Faculty members initiate research opportunities on a case by case basis. Faculty can work with more than one student each semester.

Once a student agrees to work with a faculty member on a research project, the student receives a scholarship allocated at the beginning of each semester.  For the first semester, a student receives a $500 scholarship.  For the second semester, the amount is increased to $750 and for the third semester, and every semester there after, the student receives $1,000.  Students are asked to work on research for a minimum of 10 hours per week. The faculty member and student work together to determine location, hours and documentation of task completion.  Students can participate in research until they graduate. The CoPP Undergraduate Research Fellowship is funded through the Dean’s Office.

Students who engage in undergraduate research do not receive academic credit for the research.  Any student in good academic standing can participate in the program. 

Students are required to present their research each year at the Scholars Reception typically held at the end of April. Each year, students are asked to prepare a poster capturing their research experience. They then present their findings to a faculty panel in a private screening prior to the Scholars Reception. The top three presentations will be announced at the Scholars Reception. The top three student presenters will be asked to present an abridged version to the audience at the Scholars Reception. First, second, and third place will be awarded, as determined by the faculty panel. First place will receive a travel scholarship to further present their research at a conference relevant to their discipline.

Poster preparation sessions will be held during March and April in Spring semester.