A student makes an informal presentation with a detailed poster on an easel.
Center for Engaged Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Research

The Annual Undergraduate Research Poster Session held in Oberlin’s Science Center.
Photo credit: Scott Shaw

Experience the thrill of discovery. Join a close-knit community of researchers.

Research opportunities at Oberlin rival those found in graduate schools, as faculty invite students into their ongoing research and support student-directed research projects. Student researchers work closely with faculty mentors at the forefront of their fields to ask new questions, design innovative studies, and collaborate on groundbreaking projects.

Whether in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, or arts, undergraduate research at Oberlin has long served to amplify student learning, advance faculty scholarship, build strong student-faculty relationships, and contribute to the social good.

Roll up your sleeves. Find lifelong mentors.

Learn how undergraduate research can transform your Oberlin education by expanding your intellectual community and honing your unique contribution.

Oberlin’s Research Culture

From mounting exhibitions in the Allen Memorial Art Museum to studying neurotoxicology and public health, Oberlin’s students and faculty make our campus a hub of innovative and impactful research. During both academic terms as well as Winter Term and summer, students have the opportunity to join a community of practicing artists, scientists, and scholars.

OUR Cohort Programs

Oberlin Undergraduate Research’s cohort programs were built to address the historic underrepresentation of certain groups in academic research. OUR cohort programs give students the opportunity to conduct research in a supportive and nurturing community that facilitates skill-building, networking, and creativity.

Science and Technology Research Opportunities for a New Generation

The Science and Technology Research Opportunities for a New Generation (STRONG) program is a pre-first-year, residential summer research program for students who have committed to attending Oberlin and who express an interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Students working together on a lab computer.

STRONG Scholars Gabe Hosein and Lauriel Powell working in Professor Leslie Kwakye's Neuroscience Lab.

Photo credit: Mike Crupi

Oberlin College Research Fellowship

The Oberlin College Research Fellowship (OCRF) provides two summers of faculty-mentored research experiences to talented first-generation college students, Pell-grant-eligible students, and students of color at Oberlin College and Conservatory.

A presenter speaks to a class.

Priyanka Sen '19 presents her OCRF Research at the Senior Symposium, April 27, 2019.

Photo credit: John Seyfried

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship

The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) is a two-year undergraduate research and PhD-preparation program for students majoring in the humanities or social sciences. The program is designed to encourage students from underrepresented groups to pursue faculty careers in the academy.

Jacques Forbes

Jacques Forbes ’19 received a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship for a research project analyzing the political behavior of conservative Black Americans.

Photo credit: Chris Schmucki

Oberlin Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

The Oberlin Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (OSURF) provides valuable faculty mentorship for ​​students conducting quantitative research. With an emphasis on holistic support, including the cultivation of academic and professional skills, the program seeks to build confidence among students from a range of identities.

A student works with lab equipment.

Student conducts atmospheric chemistry research in Professor Matthew Elrod's lab and in the instrumentation room.

Photo credit: Jonathan Clarke

OUR Featured Researchers

Each year Oberlin Undergraduate Research highlights the work of a cohort of student researchers whose projects are featured online and across campus. Meet the entire cohort for 2022-23.

Preadaptation as a Driver of Molecular Evolution

Andrew Crapitto ’22

  • Majors: Computer Science and Bass Performance
  • Faculty Mentor: Aaron Goldman
Andrew Crapitto

Karanis Housing Project

Emily Hudson ’22

  • Major: Triple major in Greek, Latin, and Comparative Literature
  • Faculty Mentor: Drew Wilburn
Emily Hudson

4 in 1: Uncovering Hidden Species within Tiquilia palmeri

Gabriela Castillo '23

  • STRONG Scholar
  • Major: Biology and Theater
  • Faculty Mentor: Mike Moore
Gabriela Castillo

An Autoethnographic Approach to Composing Japanese American Music

Noah Kawaguchi ’22

  • Oberlin College Research Fellow (OCRF)
  • Major: Jazz studies (saxophone) major, East Asian studies minor
  • Faculty Mentors: Jan Miyake, Courtney-Savali Andrews
Noah Kawaguchi

Grasping at the Roots: A Study of Sustainable Food Justice and Racial Healing Through Black Agrarian Histories

Vera Grace Menafee ’24

  • Major: Africana Studies, Education Studies Concentration
  • Faculty Mentor: Jay Fiskio
Vera Grace Menafee

From the Classroom to the World

The Engaged Liberal Arts at Oberlin takes what you’re learning in your courses and puts it into practice through internships, research, study away experiences, winter term, career exploration, and beyond.

Aerial view of intersecting paths in a campus quad.

Next Steps

An Oberlin education puts the liberal arts to work in achieving a life of meaning and purpose.


Three people read the 2019 research symposium program booklet, with the cover right in front of their faces.
Senior Symposium is a one-day conference featuring the scholarly and artistic production of Oberlin’s graduating class.
Photo credit: John Seyfried