Be Curious, Ask Questions
The Honors College foundations of inquiry class is designed to help you set the tone and pace of your college career. You'll be encouraged to explore topics that enliven your curiosity, and you'll learn new and creative methods for investigation, comparison, and critical thinking — all of which will apply to your future at Mason and beyond.
Your Research Will Have Meaning
Mason is a top-ranked research institution; research of consequence is a priority throughout the university. For Honors College students, this means that opportunities to participate in and even lead research projects are readily available. You'll be encouraged to ask questions, to seek research training, and to contribute in ways that make an impact.
What's Research Like in the First Semester?
Honors College students have unique stories to share. Freshmen taking HNRS 110 and first semester transfer students enrolled in HNRS 302 offer a glimpse into the narratives behind the Honors College student research experience.
You'll Be Able to Apply to Work on Funded Projects as an Undergraduate
Funding is a major challenge for researchers at all levels. Mason's research expenditures exceed $100 million, and a portion of that funding is directed to undergraduate research.
- The Undergraduate Research Scholars Program offers stipends to students who design research or creative projects with guidance from a faculty mentor. From Summer 2019 through Spring 2020, we had 41 Honors College student projects funded through this program.
- In addition to these grants to fund original student research, the Office of Student Creative Activities and Research (OSCAR) offers grants to fund multidisciplinary professor-led research teams on the Summer Team Impact Projects. In Summer 2020, we had 18 Honors College students who received funding through this program.
- OSCAR also helps fund student travel to academic conferences and Honors College students receive these grants each year.
- Many labs and research centers on campus have Research Assistant positions available for students eligible for Federal Work-Study. In Fall 2019 and Spring 2020, 51 Honors College students were funded to be research assistants through this program and many more worked in labs on a paid or unpaid basis.
- Honors College students are often competitive for research fellowships and outside funding, such as NSF REUs, and can seek extra support from their professors as they pursue these goals.
What Do Our Students Research?
Students in the Honors College undertake research and creative work across all disciplines, fields, and professional areas. Students take up individual projects and plug into ongoing projects undertaken by their professors in labs, research centers, archives, and more. From their first semester, students in the Honors College become part of a multidisciplinary research community. Our curriculum connects research as it might traditionally be seen with creative work, community service, and consulting.
Watch this playlist to sample the range of different projects our students are up to: