Make research central to your academic experience.

Sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research, the Undergraduate Research Certificate will provide you with an added credential to present to employers and graduate schools. Although the certificate will not appear on your transcript, you can add it to your resume. OUR will provide you with a printed document showing completion of certificate requirements.

Certificate Requirements

Students are required to complete the following during their undergraduate career at the university to receive a Certificate in Undergraduate Research.

  1. Two (2) in-person or virtual presentations of original research at a conference or symposium.
    • One presentation must be at the Undergraduate Research Symposium sponsored by OUR that is held every spring semester in April. Students can receive credit by presenting in a group or as a sole presenter.
    • The other presentation can be at a department, unit, or college event OR at a professional conference.
    • Presentations can be in the form of posters, oral presentations, or artistic performances.
    • OUR offers a Travel Assistance program that can help defray some of the travel expenses associated with presenting at a national or international conference. Awards are given on a competitive basis.
  2. Nine (9) hours of coursework related to undergraduate research.
    • Courses that count for this requirement will vary by department but are those (1) specifically designated as undergraduate research, (2) independent studies that are specifically designed for undergraduate research, (3) research methods (e.g., survey research), (4) senior theses and capstone seminars, and (5) other classes as appropriate.
    • Three (3) hours of the course requirement can be substituted by publishing in a peer-reviewed journal, undergraduate research journal, or work on a unit’s undergraduate research journal.
    • Three (3) hours of the course requirement can be substituted by paid or volunteer employment as a research assistant, equivalent to 10 hours per week for a full semester. To ensure completion the student needs a letter from the supervisor stipulating the student’s participation.
  3. Courses that are taken pass/fail count, but courses that carry no credit are not eligible to count towards the certificate.

  4. Attendance at one (1) campus workshop on undergraduate research OR one (1) professional research presentation. This may be:
    • A workshop related to undergraduate research; these are conducted periodically throughout the year by departments, the University Library, and the Office of Undergraduate Research. A one-page summary (approximately 200 words) is required for certification; or
    • A professional research presentation (e.g., guest speakers, faculty presentations, job candidate talks). These may be in student’s own department or unit, or elsewhere. Students should consult their units or the campus calendar for these opportunities. A one-page summary (approximately 200 words) is required for certification.

Some colleges or departments might require specific elements that meet the general requirements noted above.

Application Timeline

Academic Year (2022 - 2023)
  • May 1 - Final date applications for Academic Year 2022 - 2023 will be considered for current issuing period.
    • Students are encouraged to submit their application prior to this deadline. Applications are reviewed by OUR staff all throughout the year.
    • Incomplete applications can still be saved and submitted for the next academic year; applications are never deleted in our database.
  • June 1 - Certificates will be issued and sent to the mailing address provided by the student in the application.

How to Register for the Certificate

Students must be currently enrolled at the University of Illinois in order to be eligible for the program. Students who want to participate in the certificate program are encouraged to start the application prior to the start of their senior year. The application can be saved and re-opened, allowing students to continue the application where they left off.

Students must complete the application form and submit the appropriate documentation. The Office of Undergraduate Research will make the final determination as to whether or not the student has completed the requirements for the certificate.