The opportunity for undergraduate students to participate in state-of-the-art, faculty-mentored research projects is part of Clarkson's commitment to providing real-world, hands-on learning experiences.
The benefits to our students are extraordinary. They gain experience in critical thinking and the hands-on technical skills needed to tackle open-ended problems. They get involved in collaborative working relationships with faculty and other students. Students also gain insights into possible career opportunities and significantly enhance their professional credentials for future employment or advanced degree programs.
Student undergraduate research activities at Clarkson are funded through a variety of grants, including the National Science Foundation and the McNair Scholars Research Program. Many Clarkson undergraduates are also engaged in independent research projects or work in laboratories. Research projects cover a wide variety of disciplines, from bio-molecular science and psychology to mechanical engineering and computer science.
For many, research at Clarkson starts the summer before their freshman year of classes. Thanks to a special "pre-frosh" opportunity, high achieving students can work on a sophisticated project for five weeks even before they have begun their first semester classes. Honors Program students can participate in summer research each year of their college career. This program underscores the important role that research experience plays during all four undergraduate years of students' intellectual and professional development.
Research opportunities are also built into the curriculum. Here are a few examples:
All first-year business students are engaged in a two-semester entrepreneurial sequence. You and your classmates will start a business. You’ll recruit clients. You’ll market the company. That way, you will be exposed to all facets of the business enterprise.
Students can get a chance to experience an integrated engineering and management course in product design and commercialization.
Physics majors can take advantage of our Physics Team Design laboratory option which offers an alternative approach to conventional experiments. You will investigate and explore the theoretical and experimental sides of a given problem and learn valuable skills such as computerized data acquisition for experimentation and methods for developing a mathematical model to describe a physical situation.
"Clarkson's strong emphasis on undegraduate research really benefited me. I had a lot of freedom in my research project, working directly with a professor and not a postdoc or graduate student. It also helped me earn a summer research fellowship at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute." -- Adam Searleman '06, M.D./Ph.D. candidate, Washington University in St. Louis.
For many students, developing a working relationship with a faculty mentor is a defining, and often enduring, aspect of the Clarkson experience. It also offers a chance for the student to gain profiency with procedures and instrumentation. For the faculty member, it provides a rewarding opportunity to watch a student develop from an enthusiastic novice in the lab to a confident scientist in the making.
"It is great when you see a student gain an appreciation for a complex problem and become excited about experiments. I get a lot of satisfaction by helping students appreciate their strengths and potential career paths."
-- Craig Woodworth, Professor of Biology
Programs of Study