Undergraduate Research Certificate Program

Undergraduate Research Certificate Program
The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) is pleased to sponsor a Certificate in Undergraduate Research for undergraduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  This certificate has been established to create a framework by which the university recognizes student achievement in undergraduate research.  Although research for undergraduates can take many forms and sometimes be given for academic credit, this certificate program is meant to highlight those students who make research central to their academic experiences at the University of Illinois.  This certificate will provide students with an added credential that they can present to employers and graduate schools.   Completion of the certificate will not appear on the students’ transcripts, but they can add it to their resumes.  OUR will provide students with a printed document signifying completion of the certificate requirements.
Certificate Requirements
Students will be required to complete the following during their undergraduate career at the university to receive a Certificate in Undergraduate Research.
1. Two (2) presentations of original research at a conference or symposium
  • One presentation must be at the Undergraduate Research Symposium sponsored by OUR that is held every Spring semester in April.  Students can receive credit by presenting in a group or as a sole presenter. 
  • The other presentation can be at a department, unit, or college event OR at a professional conference.
  • Presentations can be in the form of posters, oral presentations, or artistic performances.
OUR offers a Travel Assistance program that can help defray some of the travel expenses associated with presenting at a national or international conference.  Awards are given on a competitive basis.
2. Nine (9) hours of coursework related to undergraduate research. 
  • Courses that count for this requirement will vary by department but are those (1) specifically designated as undergraduate research, (2) independent studies that are specifically designed for undergraduate research, (3) research methods (e.g., survey research), (4) senior theses and capstone seminars, and (5) other classes as appropriate. 
  • Three (3) hours of the course requirement can be substituted by publishing in a peer-reviewed journal, undergraduate research journal, or work on a unit’s undergraduate research journal.
  • Three (3) hours of the course requirement can be substituted by paid or volunteer employment as a research assistant, equivalent to 10 hours per week for a full semester. To ensure completion the student needs a letter from the supervisor stipulating the student’s participation.
Courses that are taken pass/fail count, but courses that carry no credit are not eligible to count towards the certificate.
3. Attendance at one (1) campus workshop on undergraduate research OR one (1) professional research presentation.
  • Students must attend one workshop related to undergraduate research; these are conducted periodically throughout the year by departments, the University Library, and the Office of Undergraduate Research.  A one page summary (approximately 200 words) is required for certification.
  • Students must attend one professional research presentation (e.g., guest speakers, faculty presentations, job candidate talks) in their own units.  Students should consult their units for these opportunities.  A one page summary (approximately 200 words) is required for certification.
 Some colleges or departments might require specific elements that meet the general requirements noted above.
How to Register for the Certificate in Undergraduate Research Program
Students must be currently enrolled at the University of Illinois in order to be eligible for the program.  Students who want to participate in the certificate program should express interest prior to the start of their senior year. 
Students must complete a form (online or in Word) available at https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/2745913, submit the appropriate documentation, and have it certified by the Office of Undergraduate Research, which will make the final determination as to whether or not the student has completed the requirements for the certificate.
(Professor Paul F. Diehl, Director)