Undergraduate Research for Credit
In addition to completing senior theses (which students register for as 99s) and non-research focused independent studies (which students register for as 98s), undergraduates and faculty in the social sciences can complete independent research together for credit. There are two options, courses listed as 95s which are for two credits or half a semester long class and courses listed as 93s which are for four credits or a full semester class. Undergraduates and faculty in any social science departments or program can enroll in a 93 or 95. Can be completed one on one with a faculty member or in a small group. Usually focuses on faculty initiated research.
Courses numbered 93 or 95 are for research or internship work, typically conducted on-campus in collaboration with a Brandeis faculty member. The course requires independent research, regular meetings with a faculty supervisor, and written work. Oral presentations may also be included, either through a symposium on-campus, conference off-campus, or a research team meeting. The nature of this work can vary from project to project, and the student and mentor should develop a plan before the beginning of the semester. Projects often involve skill building, perhaps in conjunction with library workshops (e.g., learning new software).
For 93s (4 credits), students should spend 8-12 hours per week on the course, roughly 180 hours total during the semester. For 95s (2 credits), students should spend 4-6 hours per week on the course, roughly 90 hours total during the semester. Grades are assigned based on the quality of the independent research and the oral or written products. Options for written products include an end of term literature review, research proposal or paper (e.g., containing a literature review, methods, and preliminary results or hypothesized outcomes), poster, annotated bibliography, or journal entries reflecting on readings, detailing progress on the project, or connecting readings to hands-on work throughout the semester.
To register for a 93, faculty and students should come to an agreement about expectations in writing and submit this form to the university registrar. To register for a 95, faculty and students should come to an agreement about expectations in writing and submit this form to the university registrar by the drop/add deadline for the semester in question.
Course Numbers, Explanations and Add/Drop Forms
|Research internship (93a/b) add form (PDF)||4 credits, full semester or 8-12 hours per week, 180 hours for the whole semester’s work. Typically conducted on-campus in collaboration with a Brandeis faculty member. Requires independent research, regular meetings with a faculty supervisor, and written work|
|Directed Research (95a/b)||2 credits, half a semester or 4-6 hours per week, 90 hours for the whole semester’s work. Typically conducted on-campus in collaboration with a Brandeis faculty member. Requires independent research, regular meetings with a faculty supervisor, and written work|
|Senior Essay (97) add form PDF|
|Independent study (98a/b) add form (PDF)|
|Senior Thesis (99) add form PDF|
Research Internships 93, an example
Emily See ‘20 Independent Research in Psychology with Professor Joe Cunningham
Emily did research in the Pediatric headache program, doing data entry of surveys and information taken from appointments, scheduling appointments, handling emails, and performing in person appointment tasks. The major study she worked on was treating NDPH using a drug LDN, which is used for chronic pain disorders such as Crohn’s disease. The headaches are classified as ones that come very suddenly and never go away, and there are no known ways of treatment as of now. They conducted this study on pediatric subjects. Emily enjoyed this opportunity because “ it utilized psychological, biological and environmental aspect” and she was able to get “hands on experience with helping real people that I got to see and interact with opposed to a lab bench.” For the research class, she wrote a paper as a literature analysis about that project, incorporating her experience.
Directed Research 95, an example
Ellie Kleiman ‘21 with Professor Yuri Dolan
Brandeis AAPI Digital Memory Project (Working Title)
Ellie’s project works to highlight Brandeis’ Asian-American community, including both on-campus and alumni, through the collection of their oral histories, newspaper articles, publications, photographs, and other primary source materials. She hopes that this project can build upon the BLK Archives Project as it brings attention to interracial matters and the underrepresented/minority communities on campus. By collaborating with the Archives and Special Collections at Brandeis University Library (and other student organizations such as BAASA and BAATF), Ellie creates an interactive digital timeline for Brandeis websites for people to access the university’s AAPI history and narratives when searching for related topics.