Texas Tech University

Undergraduate Research Scholars: Timeline

What is the ideal timeline to follow in order to participate in URS?

Freshman Year:

  • Fall semester – FYE
  • Spring semester – Sign up for Intro-to-Research 8 week workshop
    Begin looking for a faculty mentor
    Applications open for URS for the following academic year

Sophomore Year:

  • Fall semester – URS begins in September
  • Spring semester – TTU Undergraduate Research Conference
    Turn in application for Summer URS
    Turn in returning URS application

If you are not already in the URS program:

  • Spring semester – Sign up for Intro-to-Research 8 week workshop
    Begin looking for a faculty mentor
    Applications open for URS for the following academic year

Junior Year:

  • Fall semester – URS begins in September
  • Spring semester – TTU Undergraduate Research Conference
    Turn in application for Summer URS
    Turn in returning URS application

If you are not already in the URS program:

  • Spring semester – Sign up for Intro-to-Research 8 week workshop
    Begin looking for a faculty mentor
    Applications open for URS for the following academic year

Senior Year:

  • Fall semester – URS begins in September
  • Spring semester – TTU Undergraduate Research Conference

Honors College students are eligible to participate in URS their Sophomore, Junior and Senior years.

Information about writing an Honors Thesis and research

Students who are interested in writing an Honors Thesis must have at least one semester of research before beginning the Thesis. Students may begin in either the fall or spring semesters. Please talk to the Thesis coordinator for more information.

Students may participate in URS while writing an Honors Thesis, both HAL and non-HAL majors are eligible.

How to find a mentor

  • Google TTU and your home department. For example, TTU Mechanical Engineering
  • Choose the faculty page
  • Look at what each faculty member is researching and see if anything looks interesting.
  • Email the professor.

TA’s and fellow students are also very helpful in finding a mentor. TA’s can give insight on professors and you might be sitting next to someone in class doing research with someone you would love to work with, so start talking to people!

Professors you have taken and have a good relationship with are also a valuable resource when it comes to finding a faculty mentor, as you your departmental advisors.

It is common for students to do research in their major or field, ex. pre-med. However, if you have another passion, say history or dance, this may be your last chance to explore that topic before you focus on your major of career. Many students have successfully gained admittance to professional programs with research outside of their major. Remember; Be curious. Change your world.

I have a meeting with a professor, now what?

You are trying to ascertain if working for this mentor would be a good fit for you. Are you worried about overcommitting, flexibility in work hours may be important for you. Or you may need more structure with firm deadlines and hourly commitments. Look for what you think will be the best research environment for you!

If the research will take place in a lab setting, ask to visit and if you will be invited to lab meetings. What is the environment, do the other students look like they are learning and enjoying their time there.

Ask for literature relevant to the research topic. Are there opportunities for you to present research at conferences in the field? Ask questions!