Research and scholarship are forms of academic inquiry. Even in your first or second year at USD, you can join research teams, earn mini-grants, present at national conferences or conduct your research at sites around the world. Whatever your major, you’ll find research and creative opportunities ranging from Latin American saxophone music to nanotechnology, and from the use of lighting in theatre to the use of social media by potential employers.

The Council for Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship (CURCS) is a group of faculty and staff whose goal is to advance research and creative activity among undergraduate students at USD. CURCS administers a number of the undergraduate research programs.

The Center for Academic & Global Engagement (CAGE) serves as the hub for undergraduate research & creative scholarship at USD. Our staff can help you formulate your research goals, connect you with faculty mentors, and even provide you with grants to fund your work.


Contact Kim Albracht (, Assistant Director of Academic Engagement.


  • Elizabeth Berg USD Research

    Elizabeth Berg, a senior from Owatonna, Minnesota, is a biology major specializing in conservation ecology. Berg worked in an ecology based research laboratory at USD to study the decline of amphibian populations due to infectious disease and examined the pesticides used globally in amphibian habitats.  

  • Kit Asfeldt USD Research

    Kit Asfeldt, a senior from Sioux Falls, South Dakota produced a short musical theater performance for faculty and peers in the Theatre Department at USD. Asfeldt also presented his performance at Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Region V Festival in Burnsville, Minnesota. Asfeldt used character research and examined acting techniques to understand what “being alive” means to specific people.

  • USD UDiscover

    Thirteen USD students have been awarded UDiscover scholarships for Summer 2016. They will spend 10 weeks working closely with a faculty mentor on an original research project. This year’s projects range from working with a Vermillion community organization to create a visioning plan for sustainability based on citizen’s own visions, to creating a theoretical model of the El Nino climate pattern. Congratulations to all of our winners!