Professor Laurence C. Smith poses with a fellow researcher on a glacier in Greenland.

What can you investigate at the world’s leading research university? Everything. Here, we’re always making discoveries, finding solutions and improving the status quo. And we’ve had a huge impact in just 100 years. You can be part of that. Initiate your own research project or work with a team. Learn alongside experts in their field. And help make the world better.


active research projects on campus

$1 billion

in research funding received by UCLA each year

A group of students doing research work together on a project.

Turn Your Passions Into Pursuits

By focusing on projects in your areas of interest, research can help clarify your career goals, hone your skills and increase your chances for success after college. Plus, it’s an excellent way to get to know a faculty member you respect.

Learn More About Undergraduate Research

Hear students talk about the types of research they engage in and see how research plays an important role in all disciplines.


of undergraduate students work on faculty research


World Reputation Rankings for Research

Times Higher Education (2021)

Where Does It All Begin? With a Question.

Public universities tackle the big questions of our time. Our amazing faculty and undergraduate and graduate students work together on cutting-edge projects that have far-reaching impact. Together, we can change the world for the better. Here’s how you can get started:

Identify a Question

Think about issues and questions that matter to you. Get ideas from academic journals, coursework, faculty profiles and from your life and experiences.

Apply for a Faculty-Initiated Project

Find projects on the Undergraduate Research Portal and by talking to professors and teaching assistants. Explain why their research interests you and how you relate to their work.

Find a Mentor

Seek out a faculty mentor in your area of interest. You could ask a professor you know from class or look through faculty bios on departmental websites.

Do Your Own Project

Through Honors and Capstone programs, you can design your own research-based experience that helps advance your academic, personal and professional goals.



A headshot of UCLA student Omar Habib

I get to participate in research through Ronald Reagan Hospital and the David Geffen School of Medicine while getting clinical experience by observing procedures and shadowing physicians.

Omar Habib, psychobiology major

Discover Great Resources for Research

The following resources help you identify research projects that can add depth to your learning experience and challenge you to think in new ways.

Undergraduate Research Center

Connect with research opportunities, scholarships, grants, workshops and more by reaching out to the center for humanities, arts and social sciences or for the sciences.

Student Research Course

Enroll in SRP-99, an independent research course for undergrads, to receive credit for engaging in entry-level research that’s supervised by a faculty mentor. The course is particularly suited for lower-division and first-quarter transfer students.

See What We’re Working On

A subset of the ELFIN operations and development poses with two CubeSAT mockups.

The ELFIN, which studies space weather, is the first satellite mission designed, built, tested and operated at UCLA, primarily by undergraduates.

Professor Tracy Johnson looks on as students do research in her lab.

Students who work in the lab of Professor Tracy Johnson, recipient of the National Science Foundation Career Award, study how cells regulate gene expression.

A student observes the bark of a tree and makes notes.

Using the Undergraduate Research Portal, students can find amazing research opportunities that match their academic pursuits and interests both on and off campus.

Two students conduct stem cell research in a lab.

At the Broad Stem Cell Research Center, students participate in research projects on topics that include reproduction and infertility, cardiovascular stem cells and diabetes/metabolic disorders.


A headshot of UCLA student Bernice Andrade

I had a great experience, and I would recommend research to anyone looking to expand their education beyond the four walls of a classroom or the pages of a book.

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