What is student research and why should it interest me?
Colleges and universities recognize that students benefit from working on real research projects. This is not a classroom experience; rather, students and faculty are conducting experiments, researching a particular topic, or planning for a larger project the faculty member is engaged in. In the past, students at CGS have worked directly with faculty on everything from collecting data samples of local waterways, to exploring Virginia Woolf’s letters, to researching the connection between music and the Civil Rights Movement.
What are my options for pursuing research opportunities?
Students have three options for pursuing research opportunities:
Directed Study (research for class credit): Work with Student Services to apply for a directed study project to receive class credit. A Directed Study course allows you to pursue independent research for academic credit under the guidance of a faculty member. Typically, students undertake a Directed Study to explore in more depth areas covered broadly in courses, or to explore topics not ordinarily covered in the required courses. In most cases, students initiate the Directed Study, i.e., the student has an idea for a course of study and approaches a CGS faculty member to work with them for Directed Study credit.
CGS Undergraduate Research Experience (research for a stipend): Work with the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning to apply for the Undergraduate Research Experience, an opportunity that allows students to receive a stipend for their research work instead of class credit. Learn more about past research projects here.
Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program: Work with Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) to apply for BU-wide research opportunities. UROP is a University-wide academic program that promotes Boston University undergraduates’ participation in faculty-mentored research projects across all disciplines. You may participate in the program for academic credit, for a stipend, or on a volunteer basis.
What are the guidelines for Directed Study (research for class credit)?
More information, including guidelines for arranging a directed study, can be found in our Directed Study Application (also available in Student Services, Room 211).
- It is the student’s responsibility to identify clearly the topic and to submit a proposal for a Directed Study. Sufficient time should be allotted to develop a thorough and academically rigorous proposal.
- A Directed Study course may not be used to fulfill a CGS core curriculum course.
- CGS Directed Study must involve a subject area within the liberal arts.
- The supervising faculty must be a CGS professor.
- A student may not receive more than four credits for one Directed Study.
- If taking a Directed Study places a student into an overload, the student is responsible for paying overload charges at the current tuition credit rate.
- A student may not complete more than six credits of Directed Study as a CGS student.
- A student may use an internship as a component of a Directed Study, provided it relates to the academic goals and objectives of the project.
What are the guidelines for the Undergraduate Research Experience (research for a stipend)?
If you instead wish to obtain a stipend for conducting research with a CGS faculty member, you may opt for one through the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning (CITL). You can look at our faculty research profiles to see which faculty members share your interests, or you can approach a CGS faculty member of your choice. You can also contact Associate Dean and CITL Director Megan Sullivan, and she can guide you with project topics and/or a professor who shares your interest area. Apply here.