Why and When Should I Get Involved

Why Get Involved?

Why should you get involved in undergraduate research? The benefits of conducting research and pursuing scholarship and creative activities are boundless, but they can vary from student to student. What you get out of it depends on what you put into it. Engaging in undergraduate research will be well worth your effort because it’s excellent for:

  • Career development:
    • Boost your résumé.
    • Test drive a research-oriented career.
    • Define your own future through the work that you do.
    • Prepare for the rigors of graduate or professional study.
  • Depth of learning:
    • Develop as a critical thinker with experience solving complex problems.
    • Engage more deeply in your discipline and contribute to it.
    • Communicate your results in professional ways to others in your field and beyond and receive valuable, constructive feedback on your work.
  • Professional development:
    • Gain experience and skills that benefit you academically and professionally by working with a faculty mentor.
    • Learn and use techniques, methods, and practices that are appropriate to your field.
    • Sharpen skills that are useful across many types of jobs and valued by employers.

Why People Love Research

Are you a curious person? Do you like tackling challenges? Are you driven to seek out the truth? Do you enjoy working with others who are—and aren’t—like you? Do you thrive on sharing and getting constructive feedback on your efforts? Do you like being recognized for your accomplishments? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then chances are you are the kind of person that will love engaging in undergraduate research!


Now that you know you are interested, the next question is: When is the best time to engage in undergraduate research with a mentor at WSU? You can:

  • Start as early as your first year! Or at almost any point in your undergraduate program!
  • Work with a WSU faculty mentor throughout the academic year, and/or over summer.
  • Apply for summer research opportunities beyond WSU.