Female in White Lab Coat Working in a Research Lab

Undergraduate Research

You don't have to wait for graduate school or your future career to become a researcher. Follow your curiosity by engaging in research and creative scholarship as an undergraduate student at USD.

Research & Creative Scholarship

What questions do you have about our world? Where would your curiosity take you if there were no limitations?

At the University of South Dakota, we invest in undergraduate research and creative scholarship opportunities so you can find answers to big questions and pursue your interests. 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 – whether that be in historical archives across the globe, our state-of-the-art laboratories on campus or somewhere in between. And you'll be learning from the best, receiving mentorship from and conducting research alongside well-renowned faculty who are experts in their fields.

You have enriching experiences and discoveries ahead of you at USD. Uncover them by getting involved in research and creative scholarship.


Female Research Student with 3D Printed Chameleon Skull

Funding Your Ideas

At USD, we don't just encourage undergraduate research – we invest in it. Through programs like the UDiscover Summer Scholar Program and the CURCS Mini-Grant Program, you can apply for funding so you can dream big and pursue your research and creative scholarship interests.


Apply for Funding
Male Student Presenting his Research at a Poster Session Event

Sharing Your Voice

An important part of research is sharing your findings with others. USD connects you with a variety of opportunities to network with fellow researchers and present your discoveries. From sharing knowledge on campus at IdeaFest to presenting at the Student Research Poster Session at the Capitol, you'll have the chance to bring your research to light.


Present Your Research
Female Researcher in White Lab Coat and Goggles Examining a Tube

Mentorship & Learning

USD is home to nationally- and internationally-recognized faculty who are making a difference through their research. You'll have the opportunity to learn from experts in your area of study and get involved in faculty-led research projects. 


Here are just a few examples of the research and creative scholarship activities our faculty have been involved in:


  • Using NASA Space Grant funding to study how virtual reality (VR) systems can support STEM education.

  • Contributing to a momentous study on one of the world’s rarest chameleon species.

  • Devising mathematical models to predict the spread of viruses and anticipate resource needs.


Meet Our Faculty

Hear from our Students

USD has given me the opportunity to get involved in research which has been the absolute highlight of my undergraduate career. I have worked in two labs beginning my freshman year which has allowed me to develop my research project throughout the following years and create a strong honors thesis. With the help of my amazing research mentors, I was able to get my research published in a scientific journal. I truly believe that I would not have had this opportunity and support at a different university.

Holly Black

Biology and Sustainability, B.S. '22

Departments & Facilities

Our faculty and staff are dedicated to helping you achieve your research goals. Check out the departments and offices focused on supporting undergraduate research at USD.
Female Researcher Working in a Lab

Office of Research & Sponsored Programs

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs supports and expands competitive research and creative scholarship at USD. The office oversees USD's research function, assisting faculty and researchers, generating student opportunities, and establishing and administering policies governing the conduct of research and overseeing the management of research programs.

Take the Next Step