How to Get Research Experience

Two primary ways to get research experience as an undergraduate are through coursework or through an apprenticeship-style experience under the direction of a faculty member.


The most common pathways to an apprenticeship-style research experience are student-initiated contact with a professor or acceptance into an undergraduate research program (usually in the summer).

Additional pathways include a research-based work-study, on-campus co-op, or other paid position.

Because opportunities vary depending on major, interest, and experience, students are encouraged to attend a small group consultation.


Another way for an undergraduate student to gain research experience is by taking certain courses.

At the University of Cincinnati, courses with an “R” attribute include an authentic research experience.

In these courses, students use a research process to:

  • Expand knowledge and understanding of the natural world
  • Innovate products that interpret or enhance human experience, and/or
  • Innovate solutions to problems that have not been adequately resolved before.

Capstone, Honors, and UC Forward courses generally incorporate research activity.

Students who engage in research as part of a course should use the experience as leverage to compete for paid research opportunities.

To learn more about what research is and how to get involved, come to an Exploring Research group consultation.