Undergraduate Research at UNT
The University of North Texas recognizes the value of undergraduate research—for students, faculty members, and even the institution itself. Undergraduate research is a broad term, encompassing many different kinds of activities, depending on the student’s major. Certainly it would include a team of scientists working in a laboratory, but it would also include scholarly work by students in the humanities, social sciences, art, and music. While engineering students may undertake a design project, art students may analyze the paint and techniques used in a 200-year old painting. Whatever your major, you will find opportunities to engage in scholarly work specific to your discipline. Whatever your major, you can become an undergraduate researcher. Moreover, you can begin your research work as early as your freshman year at UNT.
The Value of Research to Undergraduate Students
Only a few years ago, research was an activity reserved for faculty members and graduate students. No more! These days, undergraduate students who want to get the most from their college experience, prepare themselves for graduate or professional school, and be ready to start a career want the hands-on scholarly work involved in undergraduate research. Research skills make students much better candidates for the finest graduate programs. Research experience also makes students more qualified applicants for major scholarships. In fact, recently two UNT students won prestigious scholarships from the National Science Foundation, each award valued at more than $125,000.
There are other benefits, too, like working closely with your faculty mentor, who will provide expertise and guidance. All undergraduate researchers have the opportunity to present a paper or poster about their work at University Scholars Day, an annual event in April that showcases and celebrates undergraduate researchers and their faculty mentors. Many students also submit their research for publication in The Eagle Feather, an online journal of undergraduate research that is published annually by the Honors College. Some students also get to attend professional meetings and conferences to present their work, often with their faculty mentor.
Finally, in addition to all these other benefits, undergraduate researchers get to explore a subject in which they are deeply interested and develop knowledge and understanding about it. That is what we call education, of course, and it is the reason students and faculty members are here. Remember, whatever your major, you can become an undergraduate researcher.
The Value of Research to Faculty Members
Faculty members have spent years developing knowledge, understanding, and expertise in an area of great interest to them, and have been rewarded with a career that not only allows them to continue learning, but also provides opportunities to teach others. That love of teaching could not be more evident than when a faculty mentor has the chance to work with a talented and motivated student of similar interests, and help the student grow in knowledge and understanding. Experts on undergraduate research suggest that faculty members find themselves energized by serving as a mentor to one or more undergraduate students.
The Value of Undergraduate Research to UNT
Every university wants to be known as a place where students find opportunities to develop their intellectual talents and grow in academic ability and expertise. When students distinguish themselves by presenting papers at professional and disciplinary meetings, win major awards for graduate study, are admitted to the finest graduate programs and publish their work in scholarly journals, the community—be it state, regional, or national—recognizes the excellence of the institution.
Undergraduate Research Flourishes at UNT
Because UNT values undergraduate research and the benefits it offers to students, faculty, and even the institution itself, opportunities flourish on the UNT campus. At this website, you will find information on how you can get involved in research in your discipline.