Undergraduate Research

Dr. Melanie Loehwing collaborates with a student on research

Students in the Department of Communication have many opportunities to participate in undergraduate research. Because the department includes faculty active in research across multiple communication subfields, students can get involved with a wide range of research projects. Whether you are hoping to work as a research assistant in a faculty member’s lab or project, contribute to publicly engaged research beyond the classroom, or be mentored to create your own research project, the department can help you achieve your goals. 
One of the primary ways that undergraduates get involved in research is to complete an undergraduate honors thesis. This process involves working closely with a faculty member who will help you plan, design, and carry out a communication research project that builds on the work you are doing in your major classes. CO majors have defended successful undergraduate honors theses most recently on topics ranging from the appropriation of imagery from The Handmaid’s Tale in real-world protest to the legal rhetoric of advocacy for children in the foster care system. There are many advantages to completing an undergraduate honors thesis, including the opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor to develop research that is personally compelling, and the individualized training you get for advanced study and future research endeavors.
Undergraduate students working on research projectUndergraduates may also join ongoing research projects and labs directed by communication faculty to get hands-on experience in communication research. At the Social Science Research Center, undergraduate students participate in data collection and experiment facilitation in the laboratories led by communication faculty. This participation often leads to opportunities to present at academic conferences or contribute to research publications. Many of our students present their research at the Undergraduate Research Symposia held on campus each spring and summer, and undergraduate research assistants often have the chance to travel to regional and national academic conferences to present their research on a larger stage.
For more information, talk with your advisor and explore the links below:
MSU Office of Undergraduate Research
Information about honors theses
Undergraduate Research Symposium
Social Science Research Center