One of the greatest myths about research is that it involves Supercomputing and lots
of test tubes. The truth of the matter is that research is limitless and has unbelievable
freedoms. Professors in the humanities and social sciences have supported undergraduate
research for years. There are also many interdisciplinary projects that transcend
No. Many first-year students and sophomores decide to explore their options by volunteering
in labs and networking. Through this process, they develop the necessary skill set
and move on to the positions that really interest them during junior and senior year. Joining clubs can make this networking more effective.
First, create a Pivot profile. You can search Pivot for collaborators at WCU and other institutions interested
in your research topic. Some departments have faculty lists with their research interests
and you can visit faculty during office hours as they will enjoy talking about their
research. Check out department websites to get information about faculty. Faculty profiles list ongoing projects, past publications, and/or current interests.
Speaking to faculty will give you a better idea of which professor is interested in
ABSOLUTELY! WCU has ample opportunities to pursue any and all interests. Taking time
to pursue research outside of your major and department is a great chance to explore
and become a well-rounded student. Often, you will learn that the techniques and principles
applied in a given field relate to the one you are studying. Interdisciplinary synthesis
is a powerful tool that you will develop. It is a skill that will be called forth
once you leave WCU.
Undergraduate research will help you get into graduate school by identifying your
strengths and interests. However, undergraduate research will not simply get you in
because you have gone through the motions. Undergraduate research is an invaluable
experience that confers understanding more about yourself than anything else.