Students in lab coats and safety glasses working in the lab

Undergraduate Research

What makes Wooster America’s premier liberal arts college for mentored undergraduate research?

Each year since 2002, U.S. News & World Report has asked college presidents and deans which colleges provide the best undergraduate research opportunities and senior capstone programs. Only two have made both lists every year: Wooster and Princeton University.

You can start early

Students take advantage of opportunities to work with faculty on research projects as early as the second semester of their first year.

Opportunities abound

The Sophomore Research Program offers a chance for students to work as paid research assistants to Wooster faculty, while summer research options include various grant funded research opportunities and the Applied Mathematics Research Experience (AMRE).

Every year, scores of Wooster students make presentations on their research at academic conferences or co-publish paper with members of the faculty. (Geology professor Mark Wilson alone has published articles with more than 40 student co-authors.) 

Everyone participates

Each Wooster senior works one-on-one with a faculty mentor to conceive, organize, and complete a significant piece of original research, scholarship, or creative expression. This Independent Study project, known to generations of alumni simply as I.S., is the centerpiece of Wooster’s commitment to mentored undergraduate research.

Develop the skills employers and grad schools seek

Participating in mentored undergraduate research helps Wooster students develop independent judgment, creativity, project-management and time-management skills, self-confidence, and strong written and oral communication skills: precisely the abilities prized by employers and graduate schools alike.

What’s more, in a national survey conducted by Hart Research Associates, 83 percent of business and non-profit leaders said that students who “develop research questions in their field and evidence-based analyses” are better prepared for success after graduation. Seventy-nine percent said completing a major project that demonstrates their acquired knowledge and skills is good preparation for success in the workplace.  

The results speak for themselves

Six months after graduation, more than 90 percent of Wooster graduates are employed or in graduate school. Wooster ranks 29th overall among liberal arts colleges for graduates who go on to earn a Ph.D., sixth in chemistry, ninth in the physical sciences, 15th in political science and public administration, and 18th in history.


US News Cover 2013

Don't just take our word for it

Since 2002, U.S. News & World Report has asked college presidents and deans from more than 1,300 schools to nominate institutions with outstanding undergraduate research opportunities and stellar senior capstone projects, in which students are asked to integrate and synthesize all they have learned in one piece of scholarly work. Only two schools have been named to both lists every year: Princeton University and The College of Wooster.