Carthage places a major emphasis on undergraduate research and scholarship. Early and often in their time at Carthage, students are challenged to perform original study under the close guidance of experienced faculty.

This approach enhances learning by connecting lessons to “real-world” settings, providing students with constant feedback, and requiring them to respond to novel challenges. Surveys show those with undergraduate research experience are more likely to earn degrees and pursue advanced degrees.

Expected of all students

At Carthage, research is built into every student’s experience. Research serves as the foundation for entire academic courses. In addition, all prospective graduates must complete a senior thesis, which may be a research project, an art exhibit, a music recital, a portfolio, a research paper, or other project that pertains to the student’s area of study.

The Value of Undergraduate Research

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Students share what they’ve gotten from their Carthage experience.

Early exposure, lasting impact

The Association of American Colleges and Universities has identified “early and active involvement in systematic investigation and research” as one of 10 educational practices with the strongest impact. As early as their freshman year, Carthage students can participate in cutting-edge research. Through their original work, students contribute to society both directly and indirectly. “It gets them excited that they’re part of something original and not just redoing something everybody’s done every year,” said biology professor Deborah Tobiason.

Carthage offers students paid summer research positions through the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience. A hallmark of Carthage education since the 1990s, SURE offers students in all majors the opportunity to engage in full-time collaborative research with professors. Students work closely with a faculty mentor on campus for 10 weeks, receiving a stipend and research budget.

Carthage students have a strong track record of obtaining positions in competitive research laboratories nationwide as paid summer interns. These opportunities give them further hands-on experience with cutting-edge instruments and methods and the chance to contribute to large-scale projects under the mentorship of research university faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students. In recent years, numerous students have participated in programs such as those offered through the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates, the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Summer Program for Undergraduate Research, and the Amgen Scholars.

Carthage has institutional membership in the Council on Undergraduate Research, the preeminent national organization devoted to promoting high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship.

Carthage also partners with prestigious institutions, including

  • NASA
  • The Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • The Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (headquartered at Carthage)
  • The University of Chicago Yerkes Observatory and other major observatories
  • The Huairou Education Bureau in Beijing, China
  • The Sloan Digital Sky Survey
  • The Stress and Motivated Behavior Institute at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
  • And more!

Carthage students regularly conduct microgravity research with NASA scientists. Freshmen have the opportunity to perform innovative genomics experiments through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Presentation opportunities

  • Students present their research at the 2019 Celebration of Scholars event. Carthage students present their research findings on campus, as well as at regional and national conferences.
  • Every spring, Carthage holds Celebration of Scholars, an event that highlights research and other original work by students and faculty.
  • Carthage students are regularly invited to present their findings at regional, national and international conferences, including Posters on the Hill, Midstates Science and Math Consortium Undergraduate Research Symposia, and the National Literature Conference.