Undergraduate Research in Computer Science

What is undergraduate research?

Students explore their own interests and participate in faculty research through honors, projects, individual-study courses, and the UMW Summer Science Institute. The University is committed to undergraduate research and offers funding for such projects on a competitive basis. Recent student-project topics include: computing for mobile devices, robotics, game programming, graphical interface design, and client natural language processing. The department also encourages students to submit papers for technical conference presentation, which can jumpstart a promising research-and-development career.

Students engaged in undergraduate research earn credits by registering for individual studies (CPSC courses numbered 391 or 491 – 1 to 4 credits). Another undergraduate research option is the URES 197 course in which the student works on the faculty member’s research project and completes research tasks connected with that project as determined by the faculty member.

What should I research?


  • Decide what research areas interest you.
  • View faculty pages to see past and current research projects and interests.
  • Take note of what classes you enjoy more than others. This may help you decide where you would like to do research.


  • Make an appointment with the faculty member whose work you are interested in.
  • Bring your research idea or proposal and be prepared to discuss your academic career to date.
  • Show your enthusiasm for your proposed project!

What financial support for undergraduate research projects is available?

What do I do once my project has been approved?

Once your proposed research project has been approved by a faculty member, pick up the green individual study registration form from the Registrar.  Complete the following steps:

  • Fill in your personal information
  • Select a title for your project
  • Submit the form to your faculty sponsor for their signature
  • Submit the form to the department chair for final approval
  • Submit the form to the Registrar’s office