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Undergraduate Research

We support and foster research at all levels of our program. As a student, you can become involved with research through a class, by helping with a professor's project, or by conducting independent research. Research can take place in libraries and archives, on the W&M campus or abroad. 

In Class

Every Global Studies student will take several courses that introduce basic research techniques and analysis. Because of our interdisciplinary nature, you will learn to approach a topic using the research techniques from several different disciplines.

Faculty Research

Our faculty conduct research in many broad areas, which provides a range of research opportunities for you. If you know that a professor is working on a project that interest you, contact that professor and ask how you can be involved. Send them an email, or drop by to see them during their office hours.

Independent Research

Even though you will experience research as part of your required coursework, we encourage all Global Studies students to take an extra step and do independent research. Independent research will solidify your research skills, and make you comfortable in choosing the tools that are best suited to your purpose. 

Your first introduction to an interesting research topic may be during a class assignment. You can take that interest further through directed readings, independent research, or by participating in a study-abroad program with a research component. You can also get research experience through an internship that you do for academic credit. You can work on your project over the summer, over the course of a semester, or, in the case of Honors projects, over the course of an academic year.

All options require that you work under the supervision of a professor. To get started with independent research, approach a professor who has expertise in a topic you want to explore. Typically, this would be a professor who taught one of your classes, but not necessarily. Review the directory pages of faculty to find out what their research interests are. Contact the one(s) with interests that overlap yours.


For a lot of students, the actual research work for their project takes place over the summer. Funding for this research is available, coordinated by the Charles Center. The amount of funding you recieve varies depending on the source. Smaller amounts might help you purchase books you need, provide admission to a conference, or defray other costs associated with your work. Larger amounts could subsidize trips abroad or could "buy" your time, eliminating the need for a summer job, for example, so you can focus on your academic work.