Frequently Asked Questions

Who can do research?

Undergraduate Research is an option for all students in all majors at the University at Albany. Students have the opportunity to engage in research in many different ways, whether it is for credit, voluntary, or in a paid position you have the ability to participate in research!

What is research?

The Council on Undergraduate Research defines “undergraduate research” as: “an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.” Depending on your major and area you are interested in, research can involve a variety of activities and take on different forms. Common types of research include:

  • Part of Coursework: Research is integrated into courses in many departments across the University.
  • Collaborating on Faculty Research: Students can participate in faculty research either as a paid assistant, for college credit, or volunteer to gain experience.
  • Capstone Project: Typically completed senior year, this is an active learning and creative thinking project that is focused on original research. Students are able to apply in class experiences and education to advance their research.
  • Internship: Students can receive college credit in a research-based internship in an area of interest. Students will have a site supervisor and a faculty mentor during the internship. Students will submit a final project, paper, or portfolio about their experience.
  • Honors Thesis: This can be through the Honors College or through the Department Honors program. The honors thesis is similar to the capstone project, but is more in-depth.
  • Independent Study: Students work one-on-one with a faculty mentor, and are encourages to go beyond existing coursework. This culminates in a significant paper or report about their research.

When should I do research?

Students are encouraged to consider research throughout their academic career at the University at Albany. Research is not limited to juniors or seniors.

We strongly encourage students to learn more about research at the University at Albany in their first semester of enrollment by looking through the UAlbany Research Labs section of our website and attending our events.

Where can I learn more information?

Why should I do research?

Research has many benefits including:

  • Strengthening your academic skills outside of the classroom
  • Helping you to develop skills in critical thinking, problem solving, data analysis, time management, and teamwork.
  • Cultivating specialized skills within your field.
  • Giving your resume a competitive edge for graduate schools, professional schools, and potential employers.
  • Provides an exciting way to learn about an academic field or career path.
  • Attending and presenting at conferences, including the University at Albany Annual Undergraduate Research Conference, and SUNY-wide conference.
  • Provides you an opportunity to develop a long-lasting mentoring relationship with a professor.
  • Exposure to different viewpoints, cultures, and ideas through participation on projects with other students.


If you still have questions, please email for more information and assistance