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Participation Criteria

Who is eligible? Undergraduate or graduate students currently enrolled at Cal State San Marcos are eligible, as well as graduates who received their degrees in Spring, Summer, or Fall 2021. Presentations from all disciplines are invited.  Collaborative/team entries are accepted.  There will be separate undergraduate and graduate divisions for each category, unless the category has four or fewer entrants.  
The ten categories are:
  • Behavioral, Social Sciences, and Public Administration
  • Biological and Agricultural Sciences
  • Business, Economics, and Hospitality Management
  • Creative Arts and Design
  • Education
  • Engineering and Computer Science
  • Health, Nurtrition, and Clinical Sciences
  • Humanities and Letters
  • Physical and Mathematical Sciences
  • Interdisciplinary

How does the symposium work? Students must submit a summary.

  • Should not exceed five pages (double-spaced, 12 pt font)
  • Can be accompanied by a maxium of three pages of appendices (bibliography, graphs, photographs, or other supplementary materials)
These students are then scheduled to deliver a ten minute oral presentation approximately two weeks later. It is expected that the student will not make an oral presentation by simply reading directly from the summary.  Entrants may use audiovisual materials as appropriate, and presenters are encouraged to use delivery techniques that promote interaction with the audience. Entrants in the Creative Arts and Design category may present an audio and/or visual record of a performance they have given or a work they have created; their oral presentation should focus on the rationale and historical context underlying their interpretation of the material. 
The paper and oral presentation are evaluated by faculty judges based on the following criteria set up by the CSU.
  • Clarity of purpose 15%
  • Appropriateness of methodology 15%
  • Interpretation of results 15%
  • Value of the research or creative activity 15%
  • Ability of the presenter to articulate the research or creative activity 15%
  • Organization of the material presented 15%
  • The presenter's ability to handle questions from the jury and the general audience 10%

Top ranked students qualify to go on to the CSU state-wide competition.

The Student Symposium for Research, Innovation, and Creativity (SSRIC) is organized by the Office of Graduate Studies and Research and the Student Affairs Committee of the Academic Senate.
For more information, contact the Office of Graduate Studies and Research, 760-750-4066 (

Each spring the California State University hosts the CSU Student Research Competition at one of its 23 campuses. The purpose is to promote excellence in undergraduate and graduate scholarly research and creative activity by recognizing outstanding student accomplishments. Each campus holds its own competition to select a group of student researchers to send to the statewide competition. Finalists in the campus symposium will receive cash awards and travel to the Statewide Competition in late April/early May. Finalists in the Statewide Competition receive certificates of recognition and cash awards.