Experiential Learning

Undergraduate Research

Research Opportunities for IAS Students

IAS undergraduate students can choose to deepen their intellectual and professional interests by working closely with a faculty member on a research project. Research opportunities can help students earn credit toward the Interdisciplinary Practice & Reflection (IPR) degree requirement, and receive funding support through a variety of UW resources. Undergraduate research is particularly important for students considering graduate school or advanced study.

Various research opportunities are available to IAS students:

Directed Study or Undergraduate Research credit

IAS has various course options available to students who want to earn credit for directed study or undergraduate research:

  • BIS 398 Directed Study: ​Intended for students who are surveying existing research in a field. Not intended for students who will be producing advanced and original research.

  • BES 398 Directed Study in Environmental Science: Intended for students who will be surveying existing research in areas of environmental study or science. Not intended for students who are producing advanced and original research in this area.
  • BIS 498 Undergraduate Research: ​Intended for students doing advanced research that requires greater critical depth, independent reflection, and knowledge production than BIS 398. This course will also satisfy the Interdisciplinary Practice & Reflection (IPR) requirement.
  • BES 498 Independent Research in Environmental Science: Intended for students doing advanced research in areas of environmental study or science. The research for this course should require greater critical depth, independent reflection, and knowledge production than BES 398. This course will also satisfy the Interdisciplinary Practice & Reflection (IPR) requirement.
  • BIS 492 Senior Thesis:​ Intended for students doing an extensive independent research project on a significant scholarly topic. Students must enroll for 10 credits over two consecutive quarters. The student may earn an individual grade for each quarter of participation, or one grade assigned to both quarters once the project is complete.

Enrollment in any of the above options requires the student to identify an IAS Faculty Sponsor and submit a Project Proposal Form. Once the Faculty Sponsor approves the project, an add code will be provided to the student for registration.

Undergraduate Research Database

IAS students can find research opportunities available year round at the UW and surrounding research locations by visiting the Undergraduate Research Program Database. This online database includes several hundred opportunities, and is updated periodically as new research projects are identified.

Summer Research Opportunity Programs

Summer research programs provide opportunities for students to engage in immersive research experiences in areas of study related to their major, or on topics they want to explore for the very first time. Many summer research programs provide funding support, faculty mentoring, and opportunities to publish or present research. IAS students can work with the Undergraduate Research Program to plan for summer research, find programs, and apply. Students can apply to summer programs hosted at numerous college campuses near and far. Visit the Summer Research Programs Beyond UW webpage for more information.