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Undergraduate Research

Where classroom learning comes to life

Justin Conner grabbing petri dishes in lab

Zoology major Justin Conner worked in the lab of prominent "frog scientist" Andrew Blaustein and then spent a summer researching a fungus that is decimating frog populations worldwide.

Discover research

Experience science firsthand by working alongside our faculty and getting involved in a lab. Many of our students are transformed by rolling up their sleeves and getting in the lab to conduct scientific research.

In the College of Science, students have more opportunities to collaborate on undergraduate research that addresses real-world problems and prepares them for top graduate programs and training at internationally recognized institutions.

Not only is OSU Oregon’s largest comprehensive public research university, it is one of only 40 public universities nationwide (out of 1,705 institutions) to receive the Carnegie Foundation’s Tier 1 Very High Research Activity and Community Engagement designations.

Oregon State receives more research funding than any other university in Oregon. That translates into more opportunities for Science students to engage in research, guided by faculty mentors.

Research can take many forms. For example, you might do laboratory work, fieldwork, modeling and computation, surveys and interviews, research design, data collection or entry, quality assurance and control, or a myriad of other tasks.

Why do research? So many reasons!

  • Expand your mind and explore career options
  • Develop valuable skills such as critical thinking, analytical skills, teamwork and leadership
  • Apply classroom learning to real-life situations
  • Help create new knowledge and make an impact in the world
  • Build a professional network and connections in your field of study
  • And above all, have fun!

Ready to get started?

Many of your first-year courses help you develop the critical and creative thinking skills you need for research. Some students find it helpful to complete those courses first. Others plunge right in when they find an opportunity.

Biochemist Colin Johnson and his students developed a unique method to overcome major challenges in studying the otoferlin protein and its role in human deafness.

Finding a position in a lab

Our faculty are always on the lookout to help young scientists develop their skills. Talk to your advisor or a faculty member who is working in the field you are interested in to get the best advice. Below are undergraduate research and teaching opportunities available in the College of Science:

Check out the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship & the Arts (URSA) office

Interested in learning more about science communication?

Fill out this form for access to the Science Communication Hub Canvas site, where you can learn about preparing research posters, talking about your research interests and more.