Research & Experience

Library BooksStudent-Faculty Research

The College of Arts and Sciences has striven  to be a pioneer in fostering student research with faculty. Students in the college benefit from numerous opportunities to engage in  collaborative research with their faculty. Each year, a number of faculty co-author research papers and publications with students in professional  journals. Many of our efforts to foster student-faculty collaborative research  have brought us recognition. Our accomplishments were recognized by the Cummings Foundation, which awarded NU's biology department a $155,000 grant to establish the James H. Cummings Center for Biomedical Undergraduate Research. The lab houses the latest scientific equipment for student research. The dean also  established a Fund for Student Research to help promote further student research opportunities.

Getting Involved with Research

Many students have the opportunity to get involved in research early on in the College of Arts and Sciences. Toward this goal, psychology, political science and international studies all  offer sophomore-level courses aimed at  engaging students in research. Students in psychology, biology and biochemistry/chemistry also get a chance to volunteer in professors' labs, some of which are  hired under summer research grants. The majority of programs in the college offer students opportunities to conduct research in their junior/senior level methodology,  seminar, honors thesis,  or independent  research courses.  

Research & Professional Conferences

Students have a variety of opportunities to highlight and present their research at academic conferences throughout the year. Two of the larger conferences are the Undergraduate Research Conference, hosted on campus each year by the Honors Program, and the Eastern Colleges Science Conference (ECSC), where many of our science majors present their findings.  

Research and Alumni Success

Letters from graduates indicate clearly that they find a strong link between research and success in graduate school. Not surprisingly, the students who do research have a great advantage over others when it comes to applying to graduate school, as seen in this quote from a recent biology graduate who was awarded a four-year assistantship to earn her Ph.D.:

"As a first year graduate student at UVA, I have found that very few of the other first year graduate students had the kind of opportunities for research training that I had at Niagara. I had the opportunity in the biology department to conduct experiments that many graduate-level students conduct at other universities. The most impressive fact, however, is that I was published as a co-author on a manuscript in Genome, a well-known scientific journal. There are no other first-year graduate students that can boast this kind of experience from undergraduate school."

Student Experience

Students find many opportunities to get involved in hands-on projects in the College of Arts and Sciences, whether volunteering in professors' labs, serving the community, interning at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, or pursuing a co-op at Customs and Border Protection. Such experiential opportunities are valuable for students applying to graduate schools or pursuing careers after college.