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How to Begin

Hundreds of undergraduate research and creative activities exist across the UTK campus. From science labs to design studios, from engineering projects to art projects, from religious studies to marketing studies, the opportunities are diverse and decentralized. Each college and departments within colleges approach undergraduate research and creative achievement in their own, unique way.

Undergraduate research and creative activities can be pursued in a variety of ways, which include assisting a faculty member on his or her project, managing your own research project under the mentorship of a faculty member, conducting research as part of a listed course and conducting research as part of an independent study.

In general, the best way to begin is to go to your college’s website and start exploring your faculty members’ research interest. When you find one whose interests match yours, start by sending an email to that faculty member, asking for an appointment. As you pursue your interests, if you have additional questions, feel free to contact the UTK Office of Undergraduate Research at

College of Architecture & Design

All architecture students participate in design studios that incorporate research. In addition, professors typically identify top students in their design studios and often invite them to participate on their projects as research assistants. Opportunities are also advertised via the college’s listserv and website. More information.

Arts & Sciences

With more than 30 departments, the College of Arts and Sciences offers a wide variety of undergraduate research and creative achievement opportunities. Because the college is so diverse, the best way to begin to find the ideal research experience is to go online to the departmental website and find a list of faculty members. Then, start to explore their various research interests to find someone who is interested in the same things you are. Step two is to contact the faculty member(s) via email, requesting an appointment to further explore your options. Find your department within the College of Arts and Sciences.

Business Administration

The college’s Global Leadership Scholars program provides one of the most exciting research opportunities at UTK. In addition, the Center for Business and Economic Research and the Investment Learning Center incorporates undergraduate research. Other research opportunities are available via case competitions, new business competitions, research courses and independent research studies. More information.

Communication & Information

Most undergraduate research is usually conducted as part of a course. In addition, work-study students often help faculty manage vast amounts of data. The college holds an annual symposium, which is open to undergraduates. Students also participate in research and creative work by authoring scholarly papers and producing various types of creative projects. More information.

Education, Health, & Human Sciences

Begin by exploring the opportunities on the college’s Centers, Institutes, Labs, and Research Projects page. Then, visit the undergraduate programs page to find your department. Each department has its own information specific to research opportunities that currently exist.


Research is key to all engineering disciplines, and the College of Engineering has a comprehensive Research website.


All undergraduate research in nursing currently results as an outcome from Nursing 471, a required senior research course. Some, but not all, nursing students actually engage in a research project.

Social Work

Research is a required course for all seniors. All students complete three semesters of internship, typically during the summer, and the research course connects self-drive projects that include both research and service learning. An honors seminar is held in the spring, and an independent research course allows student to attain course credit for research. More information.

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