Undergraduate Research Is Active Learning

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Allyson Tant 

Program and Operations Manager, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

If your student wants to apply what they are learning in the classroom in an active setting to gain practical experience, then they should look into undergraduate research. It is one of the unique and fulfilling opportunities that Georgia Tech offers students as a leading research university. 

Misconception: Undergraduate research is only available if the faculty advertises an opening. 

The reality: Few undergraduate research opportunities are initiated by a professor posting an opportunity. The best way for students to get involved in research is to review faculty webpages, journal articles, books, presentations or attend a lecture, and when they find something that excites them, they should contact the professor. If students want more guidance on this, they can talk to their school’s undergraduate coordinator, academic advisor, Undergraduate Research Ambassadorsor follow some basic guidelines found at

Misconception: Students don’t have time for undergraduate research because of classes or jobs. 

The reality: Undergraduate research is extremely flexible and can be done for course credit or pay. 

· Course Credit: In nearly every major the research credit counts toward the degree, and it can also be extended to allow a student to graduate with the “Research Option”

· Pay: Most faculty have funding through grants to pay students a stipend, but Georgia Tech also has thePresident’s Undergraduate Research Awards (PURA).Students must apply for this award.

· Time: Students can do research for 9 hours/week or 20 hours/week depending on their course load. All this is up to the student and the faculty member. 

Misconception: Research is only in labs. 

The reality: There are opportunities in every field. One student, Emili Sabanovic, is analyzing the norm of territorial integrity as it relates to international law. 

Misconception: Students can’t do research until they are juniors or seniors. 

The reality: Students can begin research at any time during their undergraduate career. Just ask Kevin McCoy, a biomedical engineering student, he started research during his first year at Georgia Tech. 

Misconception: Students can only do research within their major. 

The reality: Students can do research in any field of study they are interested in at Georgia Tech. One great example is Premi Mohanavelu. She is a computer science major doing research in a biomedical engineering lab. 

Misconception: Only a few undergraduate students are involved in research. 

The reality: Last year there were approximately 3,195 undergraduate students doing research with faculty. There are plenty of opportunities. Encourage your student to explore! 

For more information on Undergraduate Research at Georgia Tech, visit


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: tbarker30
  • Created: 12/05/2019
  • Modified By: tbarker30
  • Modified: 12/05/2019


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