What Is Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activities lead to new knowledge, improve problem solving capabilities, offer original or historical theory and interpretation, or produce art or creative performances. Undergraduate students are an integral part of the research, scholarship, and creative activities that take place at WSU to bring knowledge to our world. WSU as an institution is acclaimed nationally for its high level of research activity.

Key Components of Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activities in all majors and disciplines have four key components.

  • Originality: Projects should involve a meaningful contribution to the discipline.
  • Mentorship: Efforts will be conducted with the guidance of an expert.
  • Methodology: Projects must use techniques or methods that are appropriate to the field of study.
  • Dissemination: Results produced are worthy of sharing with others so that collective knowledge can be advanced.

Examples of Research Projects

The possibilities of research areas available for you to work on as an undergraduate researcher at WSU are impressively numerous and varied. Regardless of your discipline, you will be able to find a research project that matches your academic interests, and your personal and professional career goals.

In the humanities, arts, and social sciences, for example, your creative activities, scholarship, or research could lead you to:

  • Compose music for an instrument that you built from a vacuum cleaner.
  • Write dialogue for a VR video game script.
  • Fire pottery in a kiln modified to amplify solar power.
  • Investigate historical records to see how intercultural communities evolve.

In science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, you might:

  • Put on a white coat and neoprene gloves before sequencing unknown genomes in a sterile laboratory.
  • Get your hands dirty as you develop new methods of shaping metal parts for your aero-robot.
  • Design new catalysts that enable you to burn renewable biodiesel in place of conventional diesel.
  • Engineer a parallel computing platform based on GPUs to speed analysis of large biological data sets.