Undergraduate Research

Ansel Nalin works in a chemistry laboratory

The benefits of participating in research as part of an undergraduate education are clear and undisputed.  First and foremost, participation in research is the best way to understand the true nature of science and the scientific process.  A research experience extends beyond simply working in a laboratory and also includes communicating the results of that research in presentations and writing.  Engaging in research deepens and broadens a student's experience and knowledge in their chosen field while helping them develop problem-solving skills that all potential employers look for in their applicants. Active participation in undergraduate research is also an important element in a successful application to both graduate and medical school.

The College of Science offers many opportunities for undergraduate research. The variety of potential topics and depth of scholarly inquiry reflect the resources available and the diversity of faculty research interests within the College. With increased emphasis by the University on scholarly engagement, the opportunities for undergraduate research will continue to increase. This includes research-based courses that provide a useful introduction to a given research area and can represent a significant research experience.

Opportunities to participate in research extend beyond the academic year, through summer internship programs both at Notre Dame and throughout the nation.  Many such programs are supported through the National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates.  Notre Dame hosts several REU programs each year. During the summer you can devote yourself fully to your research endeavors, and make the kind of progress that can be difficult during the semester.

Helpful Resources

Learn about the benefits of undergraduate research from several student researchers.

Hear about one in-class research opportunity where students assessed medical records of patients with rare diseases to create a database of rare disease progressions.


Xuemin (Sheryl) Lu
Undergraduate Research Director
College of Science
(574) 631-9040