Undergraduate Research

Learn While Doing

WSU Tri-Cities is the Northwest’s leading “Learn while Doing” campus that focuses on developing career-prepared graduates and offer collaborations with the nation’s top-performing laboratories. WSU Tri-Cities embraces a hands-on approach to learning. The classroom doors are opened and students work alongside world-class faculty, collaborate with innovative research labs, and network with internationally-known companies to solve complex problems, develop cutting edge technology and discover their career path.

Meet Melanie

Melanie Ford, a sophomore viticulture and enology, is working on ways to overcome climate change. She spent the last several years studying its effects on ecosystems in New Zealand cave environments. At WSU Tri-Cities, she researches climate change’s impacts on Washington agriculture, specifically wine and table grapes. She was recently honored with the Washington Campus Compact Presidents’ Award as part of the statewide Students Serving Washington Awards program. Read more…

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

As an undergraduate student, you can conduct research with WSU faculty mentors to create new knowledge, or add to the existing knowledge of your field. When we say “research,” we don’t mean just activities conducted in labcoats. It’s much broader than that. It’s “research, scholarship, and creative activity.”

Streamed live on Oct 13, 2016

Each semester the campus showcases student research and capstone projects. Faculty and students from across all disciplines present their posters, papers, and art work. The public is always invited to hear the presentations, explore the topics, ask questions and give feedback.

Some of the research projects in spring 2016 included:

  • Toxins in mussels and clams from harmful algal blooms in surface waters
  • Immigration, migration and ethnic identity explored through autobiographical accounts and family histories
  • Data analysis of a service learning project with the Boys and Girls club
  • Sensation seeking and how it is associated with less sensitivity to the effects of alcohol
  • Bridge design, building design and structural platform design

The Fall 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium & Art Exhibition will be held on the following dates during finals week:

  • Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 12 to 1 pm in CIC 120
  • Wednesday, Dec. 14, 12 to 1 pm in CIC 120
  • Thursday, Dec. 15, 12 to 1 pm in CIC 120 and The Art Center

The WSU Tri-Cities STEM Scholars Program recognizes talented Washington high school students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM fields). Each year, up to 10 STEM scholars are awarded $8,400 per year for 4 academic years towards tuition. Awarded scholars are part of the STEM Learning Community that supports a community of scholars that engage in service related and professional activities.

For priority consideration, students must submit an interest form and complete eligibility steps by Jan. 31. Students can submit an interest form.

To be eligible, students must:

  • Apply to WSU Tri-Cities as a first-time freshman
  • Submit the WSU Tri-Cities general scholarship application
  • Maintain a high school grade-point average (GPA) of at least 3.75 based on a 4.0 scale
  • Officially pursue a STEM-based major available at WSU Tri-Cities
  • Once enrolled, maintain a full-time student status at WSU Tri-Cities, complete 24 credits per year with a 3.0 GPA and actively participate in STEM Learning Community activities.

Eligible majors for the program include:

Each summer, Chancellor H. Keith Moo-Young awards three undergraduate students $3,000 each to work closely with a WSU Tri-Cities faculty member to conduct cutting-edge research. Daniel Cane, Eric Loeffler, and Zoe Klingle were the 2016 awardees.

Zoe Klingele, mentored by biological sciences assistant professor Jim Cooper, researched jaw development in zebra fish. The fish is a model species used extensively for medical and developmental research.

Eric Loeffler, mentored by Changki Mo, associate professor of mechanical engineering, constructed a flight motion simulator, which combines two areas of his interest: aviation and mechatronics.

Daniel Cain, mentored by physics instructor Cigdem Capan, worked to enhance capabilities for LIGO Hanford’s physical environmental monitoring subsystem.

Contact Us

Akram HossainVice Chancellor for Research, Grad Studies & External ProgramsEast 241509-372-7314
Allison MatthewsCollege of Arts & Sciences, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Associate Director of VITAL LabCIC 125B509-372-7146
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