Research on Campus


Undergraduates play a vital role in the success of San Diego State University research and creative activities, and students benefit enormously from their participation.

An inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.

  • Enhances student learning through mentoring relationships with faculty
  • Increases retention
  • Increases enrollment in graduate education and provides effective career preparation
  • Develops critical thinking, creativity, problem solving and intellectual independence
  • Develops an understanding of research methodology
  • Promotes an innovation-oriented culture (source)
A good place to start is to identify an area of interest and then find a mentor in that area.

Summer Student Research

Providing opportunities for students to participate in research is a priority at San Diego State University. Research opportunities help students discover which subjects interest them as scholars, allow students to gain the critical skills necessary to enter graduate school, and help underscore the real-life applications of classroom teachings. 

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Highlighted students

Chase Whittaker

Chase Whittaker, Class of 2018

Chase majored in political science and public health. During his time as undergraduate he conducted research in Zambia and subsequently set up a nonprofit to benefit underserved communities there and elsewhere. Learn more about Chase.

Katelyn Sileo

Katelyn Sileo, Ph.D

Katy is a 2017-18 public health doctoral graduate who spent a year conducting dissertation research in Uganda, looking at HIV in fishing communities. She is now a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University. Learn more about Katy.

Elena Arroyo and Madison Kennedy

Elena Arroyo and Madison Kennedy, Class of 2018

Elena and Madison were both undergraduates who took STEM seriously (physics and chemistry, respectively) and spent much of their undergraduate careers in the research lab. They are now both matriculating into the doctoral program of biological physics, structure and design at the University of Washington, Seattle. Learn more about Elena and Madison


Undergraduate Research in the News                                                                             

Lessons from the Research Lab, from California to Costa Rica
This summer, several students are conducting research throughout North America and blogging about their experiences.

Summer Research a Transformative Experience for Undergrads
SDSU is funding roughly 70 students to conduct research with faculty mentors this summer. "I love research," said one student.

Combining Research, Instruction and Prizes is All the Buzz

A recent SDSU undergraduate's research into California mosquito viruses won the inaugural Microbial Metagenomics Discovery Challenge. .

Student Research Team Finds Meaning in Work
A group of undergraduates spent two years conducting research and found the experience altered their education and career paths.

STEM Diversity Programs Put Undergrads on Research Path for Research Success
Two-thirds of SDSU undergraduates who receive National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships hail from two university programs aimed at increasing diversity in STEM research.