Undergraduate Research

Research

Gain practical skills and knowledge that will jump-start your career.

While pursuing a B.S. or B.A. degree in the Natural Sciences, students are encouraged to participate in science research as the junior colleagues of faculty. Participation in science research provides practical skills and knowledge that will jump-start your career after graduation or as a graduate student.

Students working in a research laboratory gain a deeper understanding in a scientific area and valuable hands-on experience. Conducting undergraduate research is a unique opportunity to learn from faculty, researchers, graduate students, and other undergraduate students who share similar career interests and goals.

Simply put, being involved in science research greatly enhances your degree. It provides a unique experience and makes you competitive for graduate school or high-end science careers.

Students participate in science research at various levels

  • Developing research plans
  • Writing proposals
  • Conducting research
  • Analyzing data
  • Presenting research results

Defining the Michigan State Advantage

As a Tier-1 major research institution, MSU provides the opportunity to actively involve science research with undergraduate education. The research opportunities available at MSU are unlike anywhere else.

The number and diversity of research projects at MSU gives students the ability to participate during the academic year or the summer – there are no universal starting dates.

Students become involved in research at any time while at MSU. There are no prerequisites. The experience often allows students to receive academic credit as well as stipends and pay depending on the research project.

Scholarships and Financial Support

We and our alumni recognize the importance of undergraduate research and have established funds to help support students with undergraduate research. Make sure to learn more about the scholarships and grants available.

Getting Your Undergraduate Research Started

  1. Determine the amount of time you can commit and consider how this will work into your schedule. Faculty want continuity in their research team, so students with a consistent commitment are the most valuable.
  2. Find an area of research that aligns with your career goals and interests. Look across a variety of departments since research often involves collaborative partnerships with faculty from different departments. Visit the faculty research sections of department and interdisciplinary graduate program websites. While research teams primarily consist of graduate students, many faculty often allow undergraduate students to participate on their research team.
  3. Contact the individual faculty member conducting the research and inquire about a position on the research team. Students can also contact their undergraduate program director, within their major, to help identify research positions which align with their goals and interests.
  4. Learn more about Research Opportunities for various sources to help you find undergraduate research opportunities.
  5. Review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on undergraduate research.