Student at microscope

Student Research Opportunities at UMass Amherst

At UMass Amherst, there are boundless opportunities for undergraduate students to get involved in research and scholarship in any field of interest. Whether working in a faculty lab, participating in a summer program, or exploring opportunities beyond the bounds of campus, UMass helps students find the best option to take their learning to the next level.

Learn more about undergraduate research and scholarship:

Is it common for undergraduate students to participate in research at UMass Amherst?

Yes, it is quite common for undergraduates to participate in some form of research during their time at UMass Amherst. In the most recent survey, about a third of seniors reported having worked with a faculty member on a research project during their time at UMass.

What are some of the different ways undergraduates can participate in research?

Undergraduates can work in faculty labs, participate in exciting research and scholarly opportunities on and off campus throughout the year, and participate in international programs, internships, co-ops and other field experiences. Some undergraduate courses also include a research component.

I’m interested in doing research but don’t know where to start. What should I do?

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Studies (OURS) at UMass Amherst is a centralized resource that guides undergraduates in finding and accessing research and scholarly opportunities both on and off campus. OURS serves students across all disciplines at every stage in their undergraduate careers, and offers support in preparing for and navigating the application process for any opportunities they are seeking. They even offer a Research Readiness Moodle course that explains how to get involved in research and offers guidance on turning your interests into research projects.

Learn more or schedule a meeting on the OURS website. Questions can be directed to

You can also speak with your academic advisor or a faculty member whose area of study interests you.

I’m not a STEM major. Can I still participate in research?

Absolutely! UMass Amherst is the No. 1 public research university in New England, and research and scholarship is conducted across all departments at the university. The Office of Undergraduate Research and Studies (OURS) allows you to explore opportunities by school or college.

You can also read stories of student research and scholarship conducted in non-STEM fields, such as linguistics, political science, music composition, and sociology and sport management.

How early can I start doing research?

It’s never too early to start thinking about doing research, and OURS advises undergraduates as early as their first year at UMass. Typically, students have the most positive experiences with research when they join a research project that aligns with their academic interest. Though some faculty do require certain relevant skills, knowledge, or prior coursework for students working in their research, most faculty do not expect students to have all of the needed skills at the outset. Students will receive training once they join the research group. The process of applying for research opportunities can take some time, so OURS recommends reaching out early to start planning and refining your research interests. You can meet with OURS if you are not sure what research looks like in your major or you want to think about how to set yourself up for research later on.

Are there opportunities outside of UMass to participate in research during summer and other breaks?

Summer is a great time to explore research! The Office of Undergraduate Research and Studies (OURS) website spotlights several research opportunities outside of UMass Amherst, including many in Massachusetts and beyond. OURS advisors are also available to meet with students and provide assistance in locating summer opportunities in their subject area and location of interest.

Is participating in research a good use of my time? How could it help me in my future career goals?

Many students report that research greatly enhances their academic experience at UMass Amherst and is helpful for building a professional resume. It exposes them to new fields, allows them to delve deeper on topics of interest, and sheds light on real-world applications of what they’ve learned in the classroom. Students also learn valuable skills relating to communication, teamwork, and presentation. Participating in research can lead to networking opportunities and even to future internships or jobs.