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CLA Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Research isn’t just for faculty and graduate students at Purdue – undergraduates can and do get involved firsthand in the excitement of research. Many opportunities come through coursework in the departments, as well as through senior theses, research assistantships, and independent studies with faculty. Your academic advisors can usually help direct you to these opportunities; you should also feel free to approach faculty members whose research interests match yours. You can find links to each of the CLA departments and interdisciplinary programs, with directories of faculty interests, on the CLA web page.

To learn about some of the summer research program opportunities at Purdue, undergraduate students can visit the Purdue Summer Research Programs page on the Graduate School website.

Wilke Undergraduate Research Internship Program

In the College of Liberal Arts, students have a special opportunity to take part in research, thanks to the generosity of the Margo Katherine Wilke Trust. Every semester, the Wilke Undergraduate Research Internship Program offers up to 50 students the opportunity to work as research assistants on faculty projects. Recent student projects have included:

Analyzing archaeological materials from excavations in Nubia

Searching archives and databases for materials on the life of Amelia Earhart

Interviewing Chinese government and academic leaders about their perceptions of American elections

Analyzing the role of race in press coverage of recent American presidents

Testing applications of video game design to educational technology

Each Wilke intern receives a $500 scholarship for taking part in the program. In addition, the Internships provide some special opportunities for participants:

- a 1-credit seminar series, GS490A, that introduces students to the basics of research, graduate school, and research careers

- a year-end Undergraduate Research Forum and Poster Session to present the results of student internship projects

- in many cases, course credit for research through the sponsoring departments

The program is open only to sophomores, juniors, and seniors in the College of Liberal Arts. Interns must have a GPA of 3.0 in their majors and must maintain good academic standing.

More information about the Wilke Program, including instructions on how to apply, can be found on the Discovery Park website, or by clicking here.

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