The Honors Program offers unparalleled opportunities to conduct original research, even beginning as early as the summer before you matriculate at Clarkson in what we call our "Pre-Frosh" Summer Research Program. During the semester, you can work as a Research Assistant in a laboratory or in the field. In subsequent summers you can join Summer Research again, or take up a Research Experience for Undergraduates at another institution. Your research experience will culminate in the Honors Thesis, which is a piece of publishable quality research, conducted under individual supervision of a faculty mentor.
Imagine applying to graduate school or your first job with several summers of cutting-edge research experience, an original thesis, and perhaps even a peer-reviewed publication on your resumé!
Summer research is one of the highlights of the Honors Program at Clarkson University. It is often recalled by graduating seniors as a transformative experience, both for the cutting-edge research skills acquired in the laboratory or field, and the life-long friendships forged on picnics on summer evenings and weekends.
Any Honors students can conduct research with a faculty mentor on campus in the summer and the Honors Program covers room and board, and a modest amount to cover research supplies. For current students who join our 11-week program, an additional stipend is available on a competitive basis. Students typically stay in a townhouse on campus and they participate in a variety of trips and other sponsored extracurricular activities, as well as conducting research in laboratories on campus and in the field.
If you have been accepted to the Honors Program, you can participate in our five-week "Pre-Frosh" Summer Research Program starting even before your first official semester at Clarkson! Almost half of our incoming class joined us in Summer 2012 and they got to know the campus and faculty, and to make friends with other researchers before the mad rush at the start of the academic year.
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The Honors Thesis is required of all students who graduate with the Honors degree. The Honors Thesis is a written manuscript that presents a piece of original scholarship conducted under the guidance of a faculty mentor. It is typically based on research or creative work within the student’s major field of inquiry, but it is also possible to engage in other fields as long as the work meets appropriate level of scholarly achievement in that field. Most of our students do research with some kind of “experimental design,” which traditionally advances a hypothesis to be proved or disproved, but students may pursue a literary undertaking (e.g. a novel or screenplay, or a series of poems, plays, or short stories), a portfolio of creative works (e.g. paintings, photographs, or digital media), an installation (e.g. sculpture or museum exhibit), a design project or a business plan.
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Research Assistantships and Internships
Many Honors students also do research during the semester on projects and/or in laboratories at Clarkson University, sometimes for research credit, sometimes for pay, and sometimes simply for the value of the experience. Some students also leverage their Clarkson experience to obtain prestigious Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at other institutions across the nation and even overseas. Finally, some of our students do research while on summer internships at NASA or the FBI, or while on internships and co-ops in industrial/corporate R&D.
You can learn more about the research and other activities of our students on our Student Achievements page.