MYTH: Undergraduate research only works at giant research universities.

MYTH: Undergraduate research only works at giant research universities.

Actually, the magic of undergraduate research is particularly powerful at Longwood, where close ties between students and faculty and small classes create a potent elixir of collaboration and opportunity.

At Longwood, every student has the opportunity to engage in undergraduate research—from our signature summer research program PRISM to semester-long projects within classes. Research is a unique aspect of our curriculum that enhances the already robust academic programming.

Around the country, education researchers are homing in on the transformational power of undergraduate research experiences and their ability to shape students and catapult them forward. The data are clear: Research nurtures curiosity, innovation and perseverance—essential skills for success in any graduate program or profession.

“I thought I had faced some intellectual challenges before, but this work is on another level. It’s really pushing my limits far past where I thought they were.”
~Sabrina Walker ’17

“The opportunity to present my research as a first semester freshman definitely prepared me for future research presentations at Longwood and in my career. I gained the ability to create a logical, well-organized presentation as well as enhanced communication, presentation and argumentative skills.” ~Grace Bertaux ’23

Student doing research in a lab

Research Opportunities

  • Research-based assignments in courses
  • Research courses that emphasize theory or methods within majors
  • Senior capstone courses and Senior Honors Research
  • Research assistant experience on faculty projects
  • Student-initiated projects mentored by a faculty member
  • Public presentations, posters and creative exhibits and performances at Longwood and at professional conferences

Research Benefits

  • Students gain confidence to work independently, leadership skills through working collaboratively, refined information literacy abilities and communication skills, all of which are desirable to potential employers and graduate school programs. Students can participate in research from day one, and continue to build on their experiences throughout their university careers.
  • Faculty enjoy more positive perceptions of their jobs through increased contact with students, pursue topics that go beyond their courses and enhance their own research through collaborations with students.

High-impact practices at Longwood include research with faculty

Students working in the lab with a professor

As a freshman at Longwood, Mahelet Mamo ’18 would stay late after class every Friday to conduct research with her biology professor, Dr. Bjoern Ludwar. In her sophomore year, she co-authored a published research article and got to present at an annual conference in Washington, D.C.

Mamo’s experience highlights one of the strengths of the student experience at Longwood, where undergraduates have many more quality interactions with faculty than their peers and seek out more leadership roles, according to the latest results of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).

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