Undergraduate Research Hub

Research is vital to the mission of Cal State LA and undergraduate research plays an important role. Undergraduate research is a high-impact activity that empowers the student and contributes to new knowledge. The Cal State LA Undergraduate Research Hub serves as a resource and springboard for undergraduate students at all levels of their research journey.


Explore Research

There are many ways to define research, but all definitions have in common that research is a systematic investigation that leads to new knowledge. That kind of investigation involves searching and re-searching.

There are many benefits to doing research as an undergraduate student. In addition to deepening your knowledge about a topic and benefiting your coursework, undergraduate research will help you...

  • establish a new community bound by a love of discovery
  • form long-term relationships with your faculty and research peer mentors that will positively impact your career
  • learn new concepts and techniques
  • contribute to new knowledge that will benefit society
  • expand your professional network through conference presentations
  • become better prepared for graduate research in master’s and doctoral programs
  • develop leadership skills as mentor of other students.

Last not least: research is exciting and a lot of fun!

Image of a research lab group with 14 people

The fact you are reading this already suggests “Yes, research could be for you!”

Many important aspects of a successful researcher are also found in other parts of life. Creativity, curiosity, resilience, enjoying troubleshooting, patience, interest in finding out why things happen and in finding macro or micro solutions to world problems even if only on a small scale. If any of these apply to you then you might be already a researcher in the making. The best way to discover if research is for you is to do it. And by the way- research does not only happen in a laboratory but also outdoors, in the field, under the sea, in space, in zoos, in your community, in schools, in libraries, and just about anywhere.

CalStateLA Students Engaged in Research in Various Settings in lab, zoo, field

There are many ways to begin your research journey.

  • Connect with student active in research.
  • Join a student club in your field of interest.
  • Attend the Annual Cal State LA symposium for Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities.
  • Take a course that introduces research.
  • Reach out to faculty doing research on campus.
  • Explore research-focused programs and centers on campus.
  • Apply for summer research programs off-campus.

Learn more on how to get started

There are other forms of extracurricular engagement than research that provide you with an opportunity for intellectual growth and professional development. You can interact with faculty and staff and the community in your field. Below are several such centers listed.

Centers providing hands-on experiences for students
Field Center
Arts and Letters Center for Contemporary Poetry and Poetics
  Centers for the Study of Genders and Sexualities
Business and Economics Center for Entrepreneurship
Human and Health Services The Mobility Center
  The Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center


Find Research Support

Cal State LA hosts several research training programs of which many prepare students for entering a PhD program. Trainees are exposed to professional development and various career paths, attend seminars in their discipline, and interact with professionals in their field. Often trainees conduct faculty-mentored research and may receive a stipend and/or tuition support.

Explore research training programs at Cal State LA

There are also many private foundations and professional societies that support undergraduate research. Typically, support is for students who work with a faculty mentor on a specific project and applications can be submitted in collaboration with the faculty mentor. Ask your faculty mentor about such opportunities. 

The library has many resources to support students in conducting research such as finding relevant literature, reading the literature, and appropriately citing the literature.

Find library resources here

The library has also a team of librarians ready to help you with all library needs.

Find your librarian

Share Your Research

Research findings can be shared in many ways at many levels including but not limited to: among research group members, between lab groups, at conferences ranging from local on-campus to international conferences; in form of informal conversations, as oral presentation with a poster or a slide show, and in written form as an article or book entry.

When planning to publish in journals dedicated to undergraduate research, you should consider a few things. It is a great outlet for scientific writing, increases competitiveness for graduate programs, and prepares for writing at the graduate level. However, student journals might not be indexed and discoverable and the faculty research mentor might be more interested in discipline specific journals.

Discuss with your research mentor in which way you should share your research. Here, we show some venues that are specifically geared toward student presentations and publications.


Covers of Current Cal State LA Student Journals



List of undergraduate research journals. Check their websites to learn whether they are currently accepting manuscript submissions.
Field Journal  ISSN Open Access Indexed
Multidisciplinary American Journal of Undergraduate Research 2375-8732   Yes
  Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research None    
  Discussions: the Undergraduate Research Journal of CWRU None    
  Journal of Undergraduate Research & Scholarly Excellence 2156-5309    
  Midwest Journal of Undergraduate Research 2160-9357    
  Reinvention: An International Journal of Undergraduate Research  1755-7429 Yes  
  The Journal of Young Investigators 1539-4026    
  Journal of Student Research 2167-1907 Yes Yes
Mathematics Involve- a journal of mathematics 1944-4184 Yes Yes
  The Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Mathematics Journal None    
Sciences The Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science 2167-7891 Yes  
  EvoS Journal: The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium 1944-1932 Yes  
Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities INQUIRIES Journal  2153-5760 Yes  


Contact Information

Headshot Dr. Porter
  •    Edith Porter, M.D
  •    Faculty Undergraduate Research Liaison
  •    [email protected]


 Drop-in Zoom Office Hours: Wednesdays, 3:15 - 4:15 pm