What research opportunities are available to advanced undergraduates?
Research-based course work
Most departments integrate substantial research into their upper-level courses whether that research occurs through course papers, presentations, fieldwork, or lab work.
Many departments also offer variable-hour, independent studies courses that provide robust research problems for independent investigation between a faculty member and an undergraduate at the junior-senior level. A "V" in the course number indicates that a course is offered with variable hours, meaning that you and the professor determine how many hours of credit the course will be worth, typically 1-3 hours. For example, “Biology 3V90-Individual Topics” allows students to complete independent study, research, directed reading, supervised library, laboratory, or fieldwork.
Departments also offer upper-level courses that intensely focus on research, such as Neuroscience 4371-Advanced Research in Neuroscience, which places students under the close mentoring of a professor as they conduct a sustained, in-depth project.
Students eager for intentional, sustained research can apply for admission to the Honors program as juniors. Application requires a 3.5 overall grade point average and the recommendation of your major department. As an upper-division Honors student, you will complete "Honors Colloquium," a two-hour course in which you meet in small, informal groups throughout the semester to discuss significant books and issues in various academic disciplines. You will also select three junior- or senior-level courses to complete as Honors courses by contracting with faculty members to pursue advanced study in each course. You will also take two hours of "Advanced Readings" and under the guidance of your faculty mentor define the focus and parameters of your Honors Thesis. This thesis, the culmination of Baylor's Honors program, will mature you as a critical thinker, writer, and researcher.
An internship is a great way to gain real-world research experience working alongside actual scholars in your field. BURST, a student organization dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, maintains a list of internships and other opportunities on their web site.