Undergraduate Research and Directed Activities

Independent Research

The Department of Communication Studies makes a strong commitment to undergraduate research. Courses like COMM 3990 Research Practicum or COMM 3970 Directed Study are avenues for course-credit research.

Interested in COMM 3990?
Find a research project you are interested in and contact the professor for an interview. Make sure to discuss expectations and go over the Planning Guide.   

Interested in COMM 3970?
Find a faculty member willing to act as your mentor, then fill out the Directed Activity contract online.

Interested in COMM 3980?
First, successfully complete the undergraduate course as a student.  Next, find a faculty member willing to have you as an undergraduate TA in class, then fill out the Directed Activity contract online.

The Undergraduate Research Practicum, COMM 3990, seeks to enhance your research skills. COMM 3990 requires that you assist faculty members or graduate students in their ongoing research project. The research practicum requires you to work three hours per semester week for each registered credit. You may enroll for a maximum of 3 credits per semester, which will require you to work nine weekly hours on the research project. If you would like to be a research assistant and help on research, please follow these steps:

  1. Access the Department of Communication Studies’ list of ongoing research projects that need research assistants.
  2. Set up and complete an interview with the researcher. During the interview, you and the researcher should discuss expectations for COMM 3990 and go over the Directed Activity Planning Guide.
  3. One you and the researcher have decided to work together, you need to complete the online Directed Activity Contract. You need to start this contract. Once the contract is approved, a permission number will be sent to you so that you can register for COMM 3990.

COMM 3970 is the class to take if you are interested in pursuing your own research. In order to conduct independent research, you must find a faculty member willing to act as your mentor and guide through the project. After reaching an agreement with a faculty member, fill out the Directed Activity contract online. Complete the contract before you register for the class. Here is more information on the Directed Activity contract

COMM 3980 allows you to earn credit while contributing as an undergraduate Teaching Assistant (TA) in an undergraduate course. In order to earn directed instruction credit, you must first successfully complete the undergraduate course, then find a faculty member willing to work with you as a TA in their course. After reaching an agreement with a faculty member, fill out the Directed Activity contract online. Complete the contract before you register for the class. Here is more information on the Directed Activity contract

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

We also encourage you to apply for the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). This program, sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research, supports research projects dedicated to fulfilling the U of M’s commitment to research and expanding the store of human knowledge and expression. If you successfully apply, you will receive a stipend to support your research, and you'll have an opportunity to present your research at various university symposia.

If you're accepted into UROP, you will be mentored by one of nearly 3,000 diverse faculty members, and you will meet other students who share a passion for discovery about the human condition. UROP can be used to help you achieve practical goals like your senior capstone project or put you on a path to a career. If you desire to pursue a program with UROP, please consult our undergraduate advisor or visit the Office of Undergraduate Research for more information.