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First Steps

Invest time in thinking about how getting involved in research can complement your academic goals. Work with Cornell advisors to plan when to engage in research and how to gain the most from the experience.

Types of Positions

Students at Cornell are involved in research in a number of different capacities and at different levels.

Academic Credit

Many students earn credit for undergraduate research they do at Cornell during the academic year. Credit is not given for research done off-campus, unless it is done with a Cornell professor who is working off-campus.

Research Funding

Undergraduates involved in faculty research sometimes receive academic credit, sometimes receive pay, and occasionally volunteer their time. Your personal interests, time, and the options a researcher can offer are key factors as you seek a position.

Recognition for Research

Latin honors (cum, magna, etc.) differs among colleges. Fellowships and awards are an excellent way to gain recognition for research achievement. Look at applications for awards within Cornell and nationally.

Student Clubs & Related Groups

There are a number of student organizations with a focus on undergraduate research. Student-run, with faculty mentors, these organizations provide peer and faculty advice, leadership and writing experience, and annual opportunities to present research.


Students leave their research for a variety of reasons, such as change in research interests, not enough time in their schedule, or if the dynamics between their advisor or lab group just aren’t right.

Research by the Numbers


Cornell students who earned credit for their research efforts in 2019


Undergraduates who earned credit for participating in research during the course of their study at Cornell during the 2019 academic year


The number of hours a typical senior science major spends each week in the lab while participating in a faculty-led research project


The average number of books read each week by a humanities major participating in a faculty-led research project