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Research Opportunities

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The Honors Program offers unparalleled opportunities to conduct original projects, even beginning as early as the summer before you matriculate at Clarkson in our five-week "Pre-Frosh" Summer Research Program.  In any of the following summers you can join the Summer Research Program doing up to 10 weeks of cutting edge research in a Clarkson laboratory, or an independent project under the guidance of a faculty member in engineering, business, or arts & sciences.  We strongly encourage students to "leverage" their Clarkson experiences and seek opportunities in national internship programs such as the NSFs Research Experience for Undergraduates program, EPA, Amgen and DoE. Your project experience will culminate in the Honors Thesis, which is a piece of publishable quality scholarship, conducted under individual supervision of a faculty mentor.  

Imagine applying to graduate school or your first job with several summers of research or project experience, an original Honors thesis, and perhaps even a peer-reviewed publication or patent on your resumé!  

We say "research" because that is the general term for the work that we do in universities, but as well as wearing a lab coat and peering into microscopes, you can conduct surveys, develop a business plan, study science fiction, write a play, or design a smart phone app!  And these are just some of the projects undertaken by current students.  

Summer Research

Summer Projects is one of the highlights of the  Honors Program at Clarkson University.  It is often recalled by graduating seniors as a transformative experience, both for the cutting-edge research, design and creative skills acquired in the laboratory or field, and the life-long friendships forged on picnics on summer evenings and weekends. 

Any Honors students can conduct project work with a faculty mentor on campus in the summer and the Honors Program covers room and board, and a modest amount to cover research supplies.  For current students who join our 10-week program, an additional stipend is available on a competitive basis.  Students typically stay in a townhouse on campus and they participate in a variety of trips and other sponsored extracurricular activities, as well as conducting research on campus and in the field.

If you have been accepted to the Honors Program, you can participate in our five-week "Pre-Frosh" Summer Project Program starting even before your first official semester at Clarkson!  Almost half of our incoming class joined us in Summer 2014 and they got to know the campus and faculty, and to make friends with other students before the mad rush at the start of the academic year.    

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Honors Thesis

The Honors Thesis is required of all students who graduate with the Honors degree.  The Honors Thesis is a written manuscript that presents original scholarship conducted under the guidance of a faculty mentor. It is typically based on research, design or creative work within the student’s major field of inquiry, but it is also possible to engage in other fields as long as the work meets appropriate level of scholarly achievement in that field. Most of our students do projects with some kind of “experimental design,” which traditionally advances a hypothesis to be proved or disproved, but students may pursue a literary undertaking (e.g. a novel or screenplay, or a series of poems, plays, or short stories), a portfolio of creative works (e.g. paintings, photographs, or digital media), an installation (e.g. sculpture or museum exhibit), a design project or a business plan.  

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Research Assistantships and Internships

Many Honors students also do projects during the semester on projects and/or in laboratories at Clarkson University, sometimes for credit, sometimes for pay, and sometimes simply for the value of the experience.  Some students also leverage their Clarkson experience to obtain prestigious Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at other institutions across the nation and even overseas. Finally, some of our students do research while on summer internships at NASA or the FBI, or while on internships and co-ops in industrial/corporate R&D.

You can learn more about activities of our students on our Student Achievements page.


JeevakaSomaratna
"Honors summer research is an essential part of a Clarkson education. During my summers of research in ’09 & ’10, my mentor challenged and guided me to tap abilities that I didn’t know I had."
Jeevaka Somaratna '12, Goldwater Scholar 2011