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Undergraduate Research

College of Education Purdue University

Undergraduate research opportunities in the College of Education provide students with an opportunity to gain experience in a particular education discipline, see applications of theory to practice, and develop knowledge and skills related to educational research. Formal undergraduate research programs include the DeVito Scholars program, Honors College projects, and the Undergraduate Research Trainee (URT) program.  In addition, some faculty members may be able to provide funding or offer credit for undergraduate research involvement in their projects.


DeVito Scholars

College of Education (COE) scholarship recipients may be invited to participate in the Alfred DeVito Scholars Program, a first year seminar class that includes an opportunity to do research with a COE professor during the second semester of the freshman year.


Honors Projects

An honors student  in the College of Education must complete research or other scholarly activity that leads to a culminating thesis or comparable scholarly project. Specific requirements for honors scholarly projects are in development. The scholarly project will provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate deep engagement with the student’s chosen field and will be presented in a public forum (e.g. publication, presentation, display, or performance).


Undergraduate Research Trainee (URT) Program

The Undergraduate Research Training Program (URT) in the College of Education provides research experiences for qualified undergraduate students at the sophomore, junior or senior level in any academic discipline who are interested in research on teaching and learning. Selection for the program is based in academic credentials and interest in the program. Generally, a cumulative index of 3.00 is expected for admission to the program. The program consists of two components: (1) Research Experience, and (2) a Course on Research Methods in Education.

Each trainee works with a professor in education for a period of two semesters, approximately 6 hours per week, in much the same manner as a graduate assistant. In assigning trainees to professors, consideration is given to the student's background and interests as well as to the professor's needs. Professors are encouraged to involve their trainees in as many of the tasks related to doing research as possible. These tasks may include defining a research problem, creating research materials, collecting data, analyzing data, and writing research reports. Trainees receive a stipend of $1000 for the academic year. Due to the extensive time demands that are typical for those students who are student teaching, it is recommended that students who plan to student teach should not participate in the URT program during the academic year in which they student teach.

Each trainee also participates in a weekly course for which he or she receives three credits per semester (EDPS 53300 in the fall and EDPS 53400 in the spring semester). Due to the variety of disciplines represented by students in the program the course takes a broad, interdisciplinary approach in considering the various ways of investigating human behavior.


The call for applications for the following academic year is issued in the spring. Applications are usually due around the first of April. Students can apply by completing an online application. The call for faculty members to propose projects to utilize an URT are issued at the beginning of the fall semester. Faculty members interested oin working with an URT should submit a short application.

Contact Information

For more information, contact:

Professor Youli Mantzicopoulos
Department of Educational Studies
Phone: 494-7247


Other Undergraduate Research

Some faculty members may be able to provide funding or offer credit for undergraduate research involvement in their projects. If you are interested in working with a particular faculty member, contact that individual to see if an undergraduate research experience might be possible.