Undergraduate Research: Experience Your Major

What exactly is undergraduate research? Does research have to happen in a lab surrounded by beakers and burners? Are graduate students the only participants of university research? Research can be described in many ways and looks different for each discipline. Any scholarly and/or creative projects in which both a faculty/researcher and student are collaborative partners in examining, creating, and sharing new knowledge or works in ways consistent with practices in the discipline is considered research. 

Undergraduate research can look vastly different between disciplines, but the underlying principle is the same: exploration and discovery. Whether your research leads you out on a boat to collect water samples or is required before creating a beautiful work of art, the value of undergraduate research is priceless. Students who have participated in undergraduate research benefit in many ways, including: 1.) acquiring research, communication, and professional skills; 2.) developing critical thinking, self-confidence, and creativity; 3.) engaging a deeper understanding of a discipline or potential career path and; 4.) strengthening preparation for graduate or professional school, or the work force.


"I have gained many valuable skills from participating on this research project and working in a faculty-led research lab. Participating in research at the undergraduate level is teaching me how to effectively manage my time, interact within a research group and with other faculty members in a professional setting, and valuable skills that I will carry with me to graduate school. ... I am well on my way to amassing a toolbox of skills including project management, literature searching, experimental design planning, technical writing, and hand-on lab technique that will set me apart from the average ... undergraduate."

Previous UWF Undergraduate Researcher

"This [research] experience has taught me I am capable of more than I thought possible and has inspired me to pursue a possible career in research. [Undergraduate research] took my undergraduate education and made it personalized to my specific interests."

Previous UWF Undergraduate Researcher
UWF Splash Video

Haley McQueen discusses the benefits of working with the Office of Undergraduate Research.



Undergraduate Research Students in the News!

WUWF presents Gulf Stories Moments, a podcast that brings you insightful and fascinating conversations with University of West Florida scholars about the cutting edge research they're doing on and in the Gulf of Mexico. Occasionally, OUR students are interviewed so they can share how their undergraduate research project is making an impact in our community. 

Listen to some of the most recent undergraduate research students interviews and subscribe to the podcast to hear more about UWF's faculty and staff's research. 

  • Check out Zach Mueller's interview at WUWF Gulf Stories.
    • Zach is a senior Software Design and Development major, and speaks about his research on assessing trends in particulate matter concentrations around the UWF campus
  • Check out CooperCorey's interview at WUWF Gulf Stories.
    • Cooper is a senior Earth and Environmental Sciences major. Cooper discusses ocean atmosphere variability on spring rainfall in the region.

Family Weekend Symposium

UWF encourages families to observe the students' research projects.  Click here to check out the Research Projects Highlighted During UWF Family Weekend Symposium