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Undergraduate Research Program (URPro)

The goal of the Undergraduate Research Program (URPro) within the Spanish & Portuguese Program is to foster an opportunity for undergraduate Spanish and Portuguese major students to partake in a dynamic research experience in which the student works directly with a faculty member and gains firsthand knowledge of academic research.

A select group of Spanish & Portuguese undergraduate students are chosen to take part in the program, based on the student's initial interest in a faculty member's research project, but also based on the faculty member's careful assessment of the student's qualification and background. Students are trained to work collaboratively with both faculty and graduate students in developing studies with real-world impact. This provides the student with applied skills that are readily transferable, and will allow the student numerous advantages in their post-collegiate endeavors. Students with top-notch research training will be very attractive job candidates: they will understand how to investigate the current state of a research problem; select and use the appropriate qualitative or quantitative methods to carry out studies; work collaboratively towards a common goal and write in a way in which findings are clearly conveyed to the public. Since students will have participated in the entire search process and will be privy to the deliverables of the project, they will go to the job market with a clear understanding of the notion "return on investment," a frequent term that is of utmost importance in so many professional spheres in today's world.

The topic and projects that our students can participate in through the URPro with the Spanish & Portuguese program reflect our faculty's expertise in the department. Student researchers are encouraged to present the research conducted through URPro at conferences such as the Massachusetts Statewide Undergraduate Research Conference. They receive opportunities to co-author reports, and the skills and methodology learned through the program may foment their capstone or thesis projects. Most importantly, the URPro is a unique opportunity that students can include on their resumes as they apply for graduate school

Unless it is otherwise stated, students will receive academic credit for URPro proejcts. Students should apply for the project listed below. Once selected to work on a project, they sould enroll in SPAN/PORT 398R - Research Practicum. Students may take up to 18 practicum credits while at UMass. Those credits may count towards the total needed for graduation, but they do not count toward Spanish or Portuguese major requirements. In general, 1 credit hour is equivalent to about 40 hours of work during the semester and students may enroll for up to 3 credits per semester. The practicum is graded as pass/fail. Interested students should contact the appropriate faculty member.