Learning Beyond the Classroom

Why should you engage in research or scholarly work with a faculty member?


A research mentor can connect a student to the people in their networks – from other undergraduate students and graduate students to top researchers, the student has the opportunity to start building professional relationships. These connections can lead to future opportunities and provide the student with a network of support. Students can turn to fellow researchers for advice and new perspectives on their work. 

Most students involved in research have the opportunity to present their work as a poster and/or talk at events at OSU (click here for options) or somewhere else in the world! These events, such as conferences and symposia, are great opportunities for networking and gaining experience. Students can learn about other exciting research projects, meet professionals both inside and outside of their fields, and practice communicating their work.


"I never realized how important networking was until my undergraduate research experience led me to a great paid internship in Portland."

- Third Year, Mechanical Engineering student


"In my first year, I joined an ocean biochemistry research lab, which was outside of both my college and major. I was excited when this research led to an invitation to the State of the University Address, and the opportunity to present our research in just my second term at Oregon State.

-First Year, Environmental Economics and Policy student

Future Opportunities

Research experiences are impressive additions to a resume or CV. They make a student more competitive when applying for graduate school and jobs, helping them stand out to both graduate school panel and industry professionals. Research mentors and new colleagues can help connect students to future opportunities and serve as references or provide letters of recommendation. The skills and experiences gained through research help a student excel in challenging positions they undertake in their future.

Fun and unique experiences!

From nanoparticles to zebrafish, ancient texts to cancer cells, tide pools to deserts, archiving to scuba diving - the possible experiences that can go along with a research or creative project are virtually limitless. That means that there's something interesting, engaging, and exciting for just about everyone. This experience will add to your own unique story as you get the chance to become an expert in something you love!


The URSA engage program helped clarify my career goals, gave me the opportunity to make a difference in an environmental topic that I care about and paved the way for my current research position and potentially my honors thesis. “

- Matthew B. 

Other Benefits

  • Critical thinking and problem solving skills

  • Writing skills (especially in styles specific to peer reviewed publishing) 

  • Presentation skills

  • Communication skills

  • Professionalism

  • Valuable experience in a field of interest

  • Accountability and responsibility

  • Confidence

  • Curiosity

  • Technical skills in the lab and/or field

  • Become an expert in your field

  • Learn what you like and do not like

  • Make money, earn credit, and/or get Transcript Notation