Why Perform Research as an Undergraduate?

  • A research experience greatly enriches your undergraduate education. Student researchers are stretched intellectually and sharpen their problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication skills. They read the primary literature and become an expert in a topic within their field.
  • Student researchers also get to know a faculty member and have the opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities. A strong letter of recommendation from a research mentor who has worked closely with a student is much more valuable than one from a course instructor.
  • Undergraduate researchers also have the opportunity to investigate their personal interests, develop marketable skills, and explore a high-level career. Research lays the foundations for the next step in a student's personal and professional development, and opens the doors to graduate education, professional programs, or competitive first-time jobs.

How To Perform Research as an Undergraduate?

There are a number of mechanisms at UTSA for gaining research experience. These include, but are not limited to, the UTSA Honors College, College of Sciences Distinction in Research, Volunteering, Summer Research Programs and Year-Round Research Programs. Also check out the UTSA Office of Undergraduate Research Student Opportunity Center.

Advice on how to approach a faculty member to ask about performing research
See a useful template for creating a CV

Depending on your field, there may also be short term (generally summer) research internships found in town, throughout the country, and even throughout the world.

See an extensive list of summer research opportunities at other locations

NOTE: Most of these pay you, rather than you having to pay them, and some will even pay for a summer course at their institution.

Note on Animal Research and the Biosciences: The animals used in research at UTSA, mostly small vertebrates such as mice and rats, are treated exceptionally well. Some research laboratories at UTSA work with animals and some do not, depending on the questions that are being explored in the lab. Experimental models used at UTSA in the biosciences also include plants, bacteria, fungi, cultured cell lines, and even computer modeling of biochemical pathways. If you have an aptitude for research, don't count yourself out because you don't want to use animals... just choose a field that requires a different experimental model!