A geosciences student on a field trip.

Undergraduate Research

Why Undergraduate Research?

Identified as a “high impact” educational practice by researcher George Kuh in his work for the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U), undergraduate research is often mentioned by graduates as one of the most significant learning experiences of their college years.

Undergraduate Research has four key characteristics:

  • Faculty and undergraduate researchers/artists/scholars are engaged in mentoring relationships, rather than traditional teacher-student relationships;
  • Undergraduates use research/artistic/scholarly methods that are widely accepted in their fields of study;
  • Undergraduate researchers/artists/scholars make contributions, however modest, to knowledge;
  • Undergraduates disseminate the results of their research and creative activity beyond the classroom.
  • Understanding and applying research methods and ethics while creating new knowledge

The benefits of undergraduate research are innumerable and far reaching.  But what are the immediate benefits for you?

  • One-on-one faculty interaction
  • Hands-on experience in a field of your choice
  • A safe place for intellectual risk-taking
  • Learning to think creatively and developing problem solving skills
  • Understanding and applying research methods and ethics while creating new knowledge
  • Enhancing professional communication skills
  • Exploring potential careers
  • Presenting your work in a public forum with the opportunity for professional feedback and recognition for achievement

Not only will Undergraduate Research help you develop critical-thinking, artistic, experimental design and presentation skills, it will open a world of possibilities. Undergraduate Research participants can do research in a foreign country, apply for Undergraduate Research and national fellowships, and earn academic credit for individual research and creative projects.

The Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences is active and committed in ensuring our student participate and apply for Undergraduate Research programs throughout their UMKC experience. For more information on the types of research programs, please see Undergraduate Research @ UMKC.