department menu

CUGR - Committee for Undergraduate Research

What is undergraduate research, creative activities and innovation?

There are two basic types of undergraduate research and creative activity. The most common type is student involvement in faculty research projects, but some students conduct their own independent projects overseen by qualified faculty.

Students conduct undergraduate research in a variety of settings including (but not limited to) laboratories, archives, and community service providers. Students who engage in creative activities produce or participate in music, dance, or theater performances, or create original works of art.

While most undergraduates take on projects under the umbrella of an existing faculty project, it is also possible to develop your own independent research project.  Either way it is important to commit yourself to thoroughly investigating the topic and expanding your knowledge base in that area.

Why are research and creative activities important to a university?       

Research is a cornerstone of a University mission. Universities exist not only to provide education, but also to benefit the public good. University faculty in all disciplines conduct original research—that is, research that has never been done before. This research leads to new, deeper ways of understanding every aspect of human experience and the world in which we live.

Every academic discipline, from Literature, History, and Philosophy to Biology, Engineering, and Physics has its own set of methods and standards. Faculty in the Arts usually engage in creative activity, creating original works of art or performances, instead of research.