Applying to URS


The Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) Thesis is a professional document that reflects the culmination of your novel and unique research project. Your URS Thesis will be published in the Undergraduate Research Scholars Capstone Collection of Texas A&M University’s OAKTrust Digital Repository.

There are three templates you will choose from depending on the norms of research in your field. Discuss the appropriate template with your faculty advisor. Download the template that’s right for you on our Resources page.

You can apply as an individual or a team. Teams can be 2-5 students working on a common thesis document under the same Texas A&M faculty advisor, but each member must be responsible for individual contributions to the project. It is expected that team members have equal writing responsibilities. Applications, Progress reports, Public Presentations, Presentation Reports and Final Thesis submissions are required of each team member. It is a good idea before you start to divide up responsibilities and designate the percentage of expected contributions for each member.

Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be actively involved in an independent undergraduate research project throughout both the fall and spring semesters under the mentorship of a Texas A&M faculty member throughout
  • Have completed at least 60 credit hours (junior status) of undergraduate course work
  • Have at least 24 credit hours at Texas A&M University
  • Have and maintain a cumulative GPR of at least 3.0
  • Be expecting to graduate May 2019 or later

As early as possible. The application is open between June and September each year. Please note that if you need research compliance approval, you will need to cleared through the office of Research Compliance & Biosafety. This takes time and there is a cut-off date for receiving approval.

If you need to register for a research course associated with your URS Thesis, be aware that you are still subject to the University Registrar’s course registration calendar, so submit your application with plenty of time for us to process your application and notify you of your acceptance. Submit your application as early as possible.

See the Registrar’s academic calendar

Yes, teams can be 2-5 undergraduates working on a common thesis document under the same Texas A&M faculty advisor. Each member must be responsible for individual contributions to the project. It is expected that team members have equal writing responsibilities.

Applications, Progress reports, Public Presentations, Presentation Reports and Final Thesis submissions are required of each team member. It is a good idea before you start to divide up responsibilities and designate the percentage of expected contributions for each member.

Yes. However, you are still subject to all program and submission deadlines, and must attend all mandatory events. Also, before leaving, you must make sure that you have access to all equipment and materials you will need to complete your thesis. Extensions will not be granted if you do not have access to all necessary materials for your research (i.e., lab spaces, libraries, archives, books, computer and Internet access, etc.). Additionally, you must also make sure that your Texas A&M faculty advisor is aware of your travel plans and you must maintain regular communication while traveling.
 

Yes, students participating in the Aggie Research Program (ARP) can also participate in the Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) thesis program at the same time if the faculty advisor is willing to support the interested students through both programs.

The URS program accepts team applications, however, all team members may not be eligible for the URS program. If teammates cannot participate or do not want to participate in the URS program, they can still remain on the ARP project. We recommend that ARP students interested in the URS program communicate with their teammates and faculty advisor clearly so everyone understands who is participating in the URS program, what information will be included in the thesis, and who will be credited on the thesis. Only students accepted into URS can be listed as authors on the URS thesis.

Yes, students may participate in the program twice if they have two separate research projects We often have students participate during their junior year and return during their senior year with a different project.

If you complete the program twice, you still receive only one medallion and are recognized in your graduation ceremony program once.

Yes, the URS Program is designed to accommodate students at various stages in their research projects. You may apply to the program with a brand new idea for a project that you haven’t started yet, or you may apply with a project you are already actively working on. Keep in mind that you still need to meet all program requirements and that you might be asked to revise your current project upon application to the program.
 
You can participate in the URS Program with a completed project, but you must still adhere to the program deadlines, produce a written thesis document using one of our templates, and work with a faculty advisor who will approve your proposal and final thesis.
 
NOTE: A formal undergraduate research thesis is different from a class research project or paper. Depending on the scope and nature of your completed project, it may become necessary to do additional research to expand your thesis.
 

No, the URS does not fund students in the program. However, you may be conducting research under a faculty advisor from whom you receive remuneration for your research duties.

The URS program has limited travel awards and poster vouchers available exclusively for students accepted into the URS program to fulfill the public presentation requirement. Information about travel awards and poster vouchers can be found in the program's Thesis Manual & Policy Guide.

No, but you may need or want to have this experience count for course credit. You can do that in four ways:

  1. UGST 405 Thesis Writing Course (1 credit hour W course held in the spring semester, only available to students accepted in the URS program)
  2. 491 Research Credit (0-3 credits)
  3. UGST 497 Honors Capstone Experience (only available to students in the University Honors Program, please speak to a University Honors Program advisor to determine how many credits to take)
  4. Substitution for Senior Design
It can if you sign up for a 491 (0-3 credits) through your academic department. Speak to your faculty advisor and departmental advisor about registering for research course credit. Signing up for research course credit is a great way to get credit for the work you’re doing.
 

Yes, but only for the spring semester you continue in the URS program. This will allow you to plan your course schedule so you can conduct your research effectively. Once you complete the program, you will not continue to receive priority registration.

NOTE: Students using the URS program to fulfill requirements of other programs are also subject to the constraints of those programs. University Honors Program students must be in good standing to receive priority registration. Please work with departmental and honors advisors to ensure you are on track with the necessary requirements. If you are on probation, have a hold on your student account, or are classified as a non-degree seeking student, you will not receive priority registration.

Upon graduation, you will be recognized as an Undergraduate Research Scholar. This stand-alone honors distinction will appear on your official transcript after you graduate, and in your graduation ceremony program. You will also receive an Undergraduate Research Scholars medallion as official graduation regalia.

Medallions are distributed at the LAUNCH Recognition Ceremony at the end of the spring semester. If you are unable to attend the Recognition Ceremony, medallions are also distributed at graduation. You will receive your medallion the semester you graduate. Email ugr@tamu.edu with questions about the LAUNCH Recognition Ceremony.

For more information about graduation at Texas A&M University, visit the Graduation website.