Supporting students, mentors, and instructors engaged in research.

Research Experience Program

KU's Research Experience Program (REP) is an undergraduate certificate program in which students learn content and skills via classes, apply and integrate what they've learned via a research/creative project, present the project, and then reflect on the progress they've made. Completion of the REP certificate appears on a student's official transcript, communicating to others the student's educational experiences unique to an international research university like KU.

Benefits to you:

  • KU Core: Completion of the REP certificate counts towards KU Core Goal 6.
  • Integration: Tie together your coursework and out-of-class experiences through a faculty-mentored project.
  • Discovery: Expand on your coursework to investigate the topics and issues that matter to you.
  • Recognition: Have your efforts recognized by an official REP certificate designation on your KU transcript.

Steps to Complete the Research Experience Program Certificate

1. Register & get started

  • Register online to start the REP certificate.
  • Work with your faculty advisor or research mentor to pick courses that will prepare you for your research/creative project. Read more tips about picking your classes on the "classes" tab.
  • Complete 2 courses (totaling 6 credit hours) with a grade of C or above.

2. Complete a semester-long project with a KU-affiliated mentor.

  • Identify a research mentor for your research or creative project.
  • Complete an Undergraduate Research Contract with your mentor before you start your project.
  • To count towards your certificate, your project must encompass the entire research cycle: identify an idea or topic, learn the scholarly context, do the project (collect data, create your art, write your analysis, etc), analyze results, and present them.

3. Present your project

  • Present the same project from step 2.
  • This presentation should go above and beyond the typical class presentation or lab meeting and must take place in a public forum.
  • Examples include:
    • a presentation at the KU Undergraduate Research Symposium, a professional conference, etc.
    • an exhibition or performance of your creative work (senior recital, producing your play, etc)

4. Reflect on your experiences

  • Take some time to think about what you have learned through the combined experiences of your coursework, project, and presentation. Especially consider the ways that you have transferred and integrated ideas by completing the REP certificate requirements. In other words, in what ways did you apply skills, abilities, theories, or methodologies gained through class or experience to your research or creative project to solve problems or explore issues? You will be asked to write a response to this question to complete your REP certificate.

5. Do your "paperwork"


Register for the Research Experience Program


Register for the Research Experience Program online. Once you've completed all of the requirements, apply to complete the Research Experience Program certificate.


Note: Students must complete all of the requirements and apply for graduation from the certificate program before they complete their undergraduate degree at KU.

Selecting Your Classes

The classes you select for your Research Experience Program certificate should prepare you to complete your project. If you haven't gotten started in research yet, talk to your major advisor about what classes would help you prepare for doing a research/creative project in your field. If you've already found a research mentor for your project, talk to your mentor about what courses will be most helpful as you complete the project. We recommend considering these questions as you select your courses:

  • Are there courses available to teach me the methods and techniques I need to learn for this project or research in this field?
  • Which courses teach the content knowledge that provides the foundation for this project or research in this field?

For example, a student who plans to produce a documentary about sustainable farming practices might select courses titled "EVRN 123: Sustainability and agricultural practice" and "FMS 456: Documentary filmmaking."  For this hypothetical example, the student will learn some content knowledge from the sustainability course and the techniques of documentary practice from the FMS course.  Each course helps the student acquire competency as a researcher in the field.

If you have any questions, you can contact the REP coordinator at

Frequently Asked Questions

What is REP?

REP is short for the Research Experience Program.  REP is one of 6 certificate programs offered at KU that recognize a combination of your coursework and academic experiences and appear on your transcript.  The Center for Undergraduate Research runs the Research Experience Program.  We're located in 151 Strong Hall.

Do I have to pay any fees to complete REP?

No, there are no extra fees required to complete the REP certificate. 

How can I register for REP?

Fill out our online form to register for the certificate program.

How do I complete REP?

Take a look at the "Steps" tab. In a nut shell, you should take two classes related to your project, do a mentored research/creative project, present it publicly, reflect online, and then apply for graduation from REP.

What if I’ve already taken the classes or started doing research. Is it too late to register for the REP certificate?

If you've already completed the requirements for the REP certificate, but haven't registered you have options. You should still register online. If you've already started your research, you will still need to fill out a research contract, you'll just be filling it out as a reflection on what you've done rather than as a plan for what you'll accomplish.

When is the deadline to apply for REP?

At the very latest, you need to apply for graduation during the semester that you graduate. You don't need to have finished all requirements before letting us know that you intend to graduate from the program this semester.  

I'll be finishing up my last required course right as I graduate.  Can I still apply even though I don't know my class grade?

You should still apply once you know you'll be completing the requirements. Don't wait until after you graduate to apply. 

Can any class count for the REP certificate?

Yes, any KU class can count for the certificate, as long as it teaches you content knowledge, methods, or techniques that you might need to complete your project. Talk with your major advisor or research mentor to decide which classes would prepare you for a project in your major.

I've taken the coursework, how do I get involved in a research project?

You might start by reading the Center for Undergraduate Research's webpage about Getting Started.  If you have more questions, you can stop in at our drop-in office hours on Fridays from 10am-12pm (no appointment needed).  If you are not available during office hours, you can send an email to and ask to set up a meeting to talk about getting started in research for your REP certificate. 

When will my REP certificate show up on my transcript?

REP certificates are posted onto your transcripts by the Registrar's office at the same time that degrees are conferred.  If you need more immediate proof that you've received this certificate, we are happy to send a letter on your behalf.

I've completed coursework and research in two (or more) different departments.  Can I get more than one REP certificate?

No, the REP certificate can only appear once on your transcript.


Career Resources for REP Recipients

Once you've completed the Research Experience Program, the next step is for you to market your certification to help you stand out as an applicant to jobs and graduate schools. Click below for some tips on how to do this.

Promote your certificate on your resumes and applications

By completing this certificate program, you have demonstrated an interest and competency in the research/ creative methods that are valued in your field.  Use your REP certificate to advertise these competencies.  The following questions might help you get started:

  • What does scholarship look like in your major?  How did you exemplify this in your independent project, and how can this approach transfer to the workplace?
  • What specific skills did you use to develop and carry out your research/creative project? How might these skills translate into the job for which you are applying?
  • Did your research/creative experience involve collaboration with other people?  What kinds of teamwork skills did you learn through this experience?

Use REP to create a professional online identity

As you are thinking about entering the job market or graduate school, you should think about how to establish a professional online identity.  If an employer looks you up on Google, what do they see?  Besides removing potentially embarrassing information from social media outlets like Facebook, you can use your REP certificate to highlight your accomplishments online.  Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Create an account on LinkedIn and add REP to your profile under the "Certificates" area.
  • Join the KU Undergraduate Researchers & Alumni LinkedIn group as a way to network. As an added perk, this group membership will appear on your LinkedIn profile page, contributing to your online image.
  • If you have a professional blog or website, create a page that highlights your independent project and how it might connect with your future career goals.

Make it count in the interview

Though you’ll want to tailor what strengths you emphasize in an interview based on the particular job you are applying for, here are a few possibilities for how to articulate your strengths based on your experiences in REP:

  • Hands-on experience: By earning a certificate, you have demonstrated that you can apply what you have learned in class in a real-world setting.  This sets you apart from other recent college graduates who might not have experience applying the research and creative methods taught in a college classroom.
  • Initiative: You went above and beyond the basic requirements for a degree at KU.  This shows that you seek out opportunities and pursue them.
  • Independence/Project Management: Your research project demonstrates your ability to carry out a project on your own.  Reference your experience with your project in an interview to demonstrate your ability to initiate, manage, and follow-through with a project.


For more tips on marketing your certification, check out these resources:

Notes for Mentors

Step 1: If your student is interested in completing the REP certificate, you will need to talk with your student about which courses they might select as key building blocks towards their project.  These courses should provide either a foundation of content knowledge or teach relevant methods and techniques.

Step 2: From there, you will mentor the student as you usually do.  As you begin working with the student, you will need to fill out an Undergraduate Research Contract to set up clear expectations, clarify the scope of the project, and help keep tabs on your student's progress. 

Step 3: In order to complete the REP certificate, students are required to publicly present their research, so you might suggest upcoming opportunities to your student.


Departmental Contacts

If you have questions about how to get involved in undergraduate research or launch a creative project in your discipline, first check out our Research Bytes about Getting Started in Research. If you still have questions, contact the REP Program Coordinator or stop by Drop-In office hours on Fridays from 10am-12pm. If the REP coordinator can't answer your questions, you can contact the faculty member listed below to find out more about what types of research or creative projects are done in your department.

If your department is not listed, please email the REP Program Coordinator with questions.

Department Contact Contact Email
Aerospace Engineering Ron Barrett
African & African American Studies Clarence Lang
American Studies Randall Jelks
Anthropology Jane Gibson
Applied Behavior Science Claudia Dozier
Architecture Paola Sanguinetti
Biology Greg Burg
Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Laurence Weatherley
Chemistry David Benson
Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering Ed Peltier
Classics Tara Welch
Communication Studies Robert Rowland
Dance Michelle Hayes
Design Samantha Raines
East Asian Languages and Cultures Keith McMahon
Economics Neal Becker
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science David Petr
English Mary Klayder
Environmental Studies Chris Brown
European Studies Lorie Vanchena
Film and Media Studies Tamara Falicov
French and Italian John Booker
Geography Xingong Li
Geology Gwen Macpherson
Germanic Languages and Literatures Lorie Vanchena
Global and International Studies John Kennedy

Health, Sport, and Exercise Sciences Joseph Weir
History Eric Rath
History of Art David Cateforis
Humanities and Western Civilization Antha Cotten-Spreckelmeyer
Journalism Yvonnes Chen
Latin American & Caribbean Studies Peter Haney
Linguistics Robert Fiorentino
Mechanical Engineering Lorin Maletsky
Music James Daugherty
Philosophy Erin Frykholm
Physics and Astronomy Phil Baringer
Political Science Christina Bejarano
Psychology Michael Vitevitch
Public Administration Shannon Portillo
Religious Studies Tim Miller
Slavic Languages and Literatures Stephen Dickey
Social Welfare Jason Matejkowski
Sociology Brian Donovan
Spanish and Portuguese Jorge Perez
Speech-Language-Hearing Kostas Kokkinakis
Theatre Mechele Leon
Visual Arts Mary Anne Jordan
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Charlene Muehlenhard

REP Quick Links
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Countdown to the 2016
Research teaches critical thinking and problem solving — top skills sought by employers
The Research Experience Program has certified more than 2,000 students since 2005
KU is a member of the Council on Undergraduate Research
More than 1,200 students have received Undergraduate Research Awards since 1986
More than 150 mentors sponsored undergraduate projects through the Center for Undergraduate Research each year
KU's first valedictorian, Flora Richardson, conducted research as an undergraduate before graduating in 1873
Highlight your research on your transcript: Get certified through the Research Experience Program
Use research to apply what you learned in the classroom to a real problem
Students who perform research develop strong relationships with KU faculty
Research is a hands-on way to explore career options
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined