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Why pursue research as an undergraduate?

Pursuing research makes students knowledge creators and develops their teamwork skills. The discipline of mind that research requires is one of the best ways to learn to think critically. Also, graduate and professional schools often expect students to conduct research during their undergraduate careers.

Students can also work with a faculty mentor on an independent research project, assist a professor or one of the many research centers on campus with an existing project, or even conduct fieldwork for an NGO or agency halfway around the globe.

Other Undergraduate Research Opportunities


The Undergraduate Research Initiative encourages undergraduate students in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities to carry out research and other creative work activities in collaboration with faculty members. With the support of this fund, the college wants to help undergraduate students develop or enhance research skills. In the best instances this would include: how to define the scope of a project and write a proposal, how to develop a bibliography, how to systematically collect data, how to understand or carry out data analysis, and how to write up results. For more details and for how to apply for this grant, click here.


CSSH students in the University Honors Program pursue excellence via many pathways through their undergraduate curricula. As the culmination of their studies, Honors students have the opportunity to carry out independent research projects of significant scope. Students may work within or among disciplines to pursue their interests. Many students choose problems that incorporate a global element which can be pursued either physically or virtually. Students’ Honors projects topics are as diverse as their interests are and the projects are presented in various formats from written theses to documentaries.


Undergraduate students can receive Honors Distinction in their major on their transcripts by successfully completing a CSSH honors research project in their junior or senior year. Students need not be members of the university-wide Honors Program to receive College Honors. For guidelines and the Proposal for CSSH College Honors Project form, visit the CSSH Honors page.


The Office of the Provost sponsors a number of undergraduate research projects with awards up to a maximum of $1,000. Students who wish to be considered should first discuss possible topics with their faculty sponsor, and then start the application process. CSSH students have conducted research projects on topics such as international climate change policy, the global financial crisis of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and the health issues of the modern industrial food system.


RISE is Northeastern’s annual research exposition event showcasing the breadth and depth of innovative thinking, and a chance for undergraduates to present their research projects. The very best receive grants to further their research endeavors. Visit the RISE website for more information.