Gain hands-on research experience while studying as an undergraduate.

The opportunity to conduct hands-on research alongside faculty experts as well as graduate students is part of what distinguishes a CAS education. In humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and math and computer science, each year our students have their work published, present at professional conferences, and earn recognition from peers, mentors, and leading experts. Students can pursue research in their major, in a related field of study, or in an entirely different area, even working with faculty in one of BU’s professional schools such as the School of Management or School of Education.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

The main vehicle for this research activity is the BU-wide Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). Students participating in UROP are awarded stipends to participate in a 10-week program over the course of the semester. Students can also request funds for supplies or for travel to present at conferences or perform research in the field.

Most students in UROP are CAS students; in 2016-17, CAS students completed 369 UROP projects, and 291 CAS students received funding for supplies, travel, or other research needs. Each year, approximately 25 to 30 CAS students have their research published—a major achievement that helps set them apart in the eyes of graduate schools and employers.

Recent examples of CAS student research include:

  • Astronomy: “The K2 Planet Search: Searching for Evidence of Exoplanets around Ultracool Dwarfs” (Sheila Sagear, Summer 2017)
  • School of Education: “The Drive to 90: How Tampa, Florida is a Model Community for Effectively Raising High School Graduation Rates” (Daniel Erickson, Fall 2016)
  • English: “Owning Another: Public Displays of Devotion in Nineteenth-Century British Literature” (Maya Kammourieh, Fall 2016)
  • Biology: “Effect of Soil Warming and Reduced Winter Snowpack on Soil Mineralization and Nitrogen Uptake by Trees and Subsequent Effects on Forest Carbon Storage” (Kyle Schultz, Summer 2017)
  • Psychological & Brain Sciences: “The Relationship Between Temperament and Neural Signatures of Audiovisual Speech in Preschoolers” (Erin Ferguson, Spring 2017)

Honors Research Travel Awards

The CAS Honors Research Travel Award program funds grants of up to $1,000 for travel to conduct research by advanced undergraduates pursuing the B.A. with honors in any College of Arts & Sciences major. Learn more