Getting Involved in Research


Research is about creating new knowledge through inquiry and investigation. Research is possible in any discipline or field of study.

One of the great advantages of attending a top research university like Ohio State is that opportunities abound for undergraduate students to participate in research. Whether you work in a psychology lab for just one semester or spend a year and a half researching and writing an honors thesis on modern Japanese literature, the experience of conducting research adds depth to your program of study and allows you to develop skills that will be useful no matter what you choose to do when you graduate. While you are certainly encouraged to incorporate a thesis project into your undergraduate program of study, all research experiences—even short-term ones—are valuable.

Getting Started

  • Visit "3 Steps to Get Started"
  • Consider your interests. Identify possible areas of exploration. Talk with professors, academic advisors, and other students to gather ideas. 
  • Find a research project by applying for advertised research opportunities or find a faculty member to advise you on your project.
  • Connect with the Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry (OUR&CI). The OUR&CI offers a multitude of resources for students interested in getting involved in research, including information sessions on getting started with research, workshops, and a peer researcher network. The OUR&CI also has a detailed website, which includes links to research opportunities, scholarships opportunities, and special programs.

Research Credit Hours

  • It is usually possible to earn course credit for research. This credit will count toward the credit hours needed for graduation, and depending on the situation, it may also count toward a major or minor (consult your major/minor advisor).
  • If you are working toward a thesis, you should plan to register for 4999H. In some cases (e.g., in the Department of Psychology), the 4999H research hours are are actual courses in a sequence and will require prior planning to make sure you are able to register in a timely fashion.
  • If you are doing research that will not lead to a thesis or research in preparation for thesis-related research, most departments offer research credit under course number 4998H.
  • The number of research credit hours you take in a given semester will depend on the amount of time you plan to spend on your research during that term. You should plan to discuss this with your research project advisor.  He or she will need to provide written permission for you to register for 4998H or 4999H. (Permission to enroll in 4998H or 4999H can be documented on a Course Enrollment Permission form [pdf]. You should submit the signed form to the Arts and Sciences Honors Office no later than the second Friday of the semester to have the hours added to your schedule.)

Undergraduate Thesis Leading to Graduation with Honors Research Distinction