Common Benefits

Whether you are applying for graduate school or a new job, employers will always be looking for experiences beyond the classroom. 

Undergraduate research is one way to narrow your academic interests and decide on an academic area that you want to become an expert in.  When you commit to a research project, you will become very knowledgeable about that subject. You might even become the world expert on the specific thing you are researching!

Regardless of your next career step, it’s always good to make connections with people. Get to know professors by asking questions in class or visiting advising hours; it’s hard to get to know someone over a brief email exchange. Faculty mentors can introduce you to graduate programs, job openings, and professional development opportunities!

In some cases, you can get paid or earn academic credit while engaging in research! Organized undergraduate research programs often offer financial incentives. If you’re engaging in research, but aren’t in a program, ask your faculty mentor if there are opportunities for pay or course credit. 

Research experience can look great on your CV or resume when applying for graduate programs, and having experience related to the program you’re interested in can enhance your chances of getting accepted. In some research-based programs, previous research experience may be expected. The good news is that there are lots of ways to get involved in undergraduate research at OSU! Check out the resources on our website or email us to learn more!

The Office of URSA organizes two campus-wide conference events where students may present their research or creative projects. These are Celebrating Undergraduate Excellence (CUE) and the Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium (SURS). Presenting your research is an exhilarating experience where you can discuss your hard work more in-depth with interested folx. You can add conference experiences, publications, and other forms of presentations on your resume.

Students who participate in undergraduate research meet lots of people, develop new communication strategies, learn new skills, etc. These aspects can help students build confidence in themselves and their career paths. Participating in undergraduate research allows for opportunities to meet and collaborate with people in your discipline. These collaborations can improve your ability to work in a team setting.

Understanding what specific topics you enjoy within your field is important when determining what career path you hope to take in the future. You might learn you have more than one specific academic interest! It’s In some cases, participating in research can help you figure out what you don’t like; nothing is worse than pursuing a focus that you’re not interested in.

Faculty mentors sometimes invite undergraduate researchers to transition into graduate positions in the same lab or research team. Joining a research group early allows you to gain valuable connections within the research team that could lead to graduate school opportunities.

Undergraduate research is exciting for many reasons! You have opportunities to travel, make friends, explore ideas, and discover new information. This is an opportunity to jumpstart your career and learn new things either within or beyond your major. Find new interests, make new connections, and enjoy yourself while in the process.