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Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Undergraduate students are encouraged to participate in research. By engaging in research, you will apply theoretical concepts to real-world problems, honing critical thinking and problem-solving skills. This hands-on exposure not only can enrich your academic journey but also can set you apart when pursuing graduate studies or a career in your chosen field. 

How to get started

If you are interested in conducting or joining a research project, you can check our faculty list. We have research-active faculty engaged in a wide variety of interesting research projects that routinely involve both graduates and undergraduates. By visiting the faculty's personal or research groups’ websites, you can check the research scope of each faculty member. Once you have identified the faculty member that you want to work with, you can directly contact the faculty member via email. 

Conducting research with a faculty member can be counted as credits by taking the CSCI 320 course and/or conducting an Honors Thesis. 

Directed Study CSCI 320

CSCI 320 is a directed study course to investigate aspects of computer science. This course can be based on readings from the literature, on a project, or on a research topic. 

Honors Thesis

The privilege of pursuing an honors thesis is granted to those students who display an aptitude for performing at a level beyond that normally required for A work in a senior computer science course. The decision to grant honors will depend on the honors committee's evaluation of the student and of the honors thesis with respect to three criteria.

  • Complexity or difficulty of the project. The honors project should be a substantial undertaking. It should be more than a project in a senior-level computer science course.
  • Ability to do independent work. This criterion exhibits how well the student has synthesized his or her studies in computer science. A student who devises his or her own honors topic or who needs little supervision and help for the honors thesis demonstrates the ability to do independent work.
  • Originality. An innovative project is of more value. Innovation in a software project includes originality in design, application, algorithm, or implementation. Innovation in a theoretical project includes original results in the form of theorems, algorithms, or proofs.

A successful honors thesis can fulfill all of the following requirements towards your CS major degree:

  • CS 495 and CS 496 together will count as 6 of the required 12 additional credits for the CS major 
  • CS 496 satisfies the COLL 400 requirement
  • CS 496 satisfies the Major Writing Requirement

The Charles Center, which oversees the honors program, has posted a great deal of helpful information about departmental honors. Students considering an honors thesis might find it helpful to review past honors theses in Computer Science. Students can also consider applying for the Charles Center Summer Honors Research Fellowship to start working on an Honors thesis.

Swem Library has posted guidelines for formatting and submitting the thesis electronically. In addition, honors students must turn in a full copy of the completed thesis to the Computer Science Department office.