Undergraduate Research FAQ

Point of Contact

Prof. Ian Bourland, Chair and Director of Undergraduate Studies for Art History, wib@georgetown.edu; Prof. Scott Hutchison, Director of Undergraduate Studies for Studio Art, sah54@georgetown.edu.

Philosophy of research

Undergraduate research happens primarily at the upper-level, after students develop the tools needed for independent historical investigation or development of a significant studio or design project. Typical capstones include public display of studio work at the end of the senior year, or writing a substantial research paper or thesis in Art History.

How to get started

The department introduces elements of research practice in distribution-level courses (ARTH), or allows students to develop facility in various media (ARTS). Our teaching encourages students first to engage with an array of approaches and then branch out into exploring their intellectual interests as their course of study progresses. Individual and, occasionally, collaborative research usually occurs in upper-level courses (e.g. at the 4000 level). 

How to get connected with a faculty mentor

The Department is committed to getting to know our students so that we understand and facilitate their research goals and possible trajectories. Generally, connecting with a faculty member occurs in an ad hoc fashion, though students may always contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies for recommendations.

Earning credit for undergraduate research

At the introductory level, research is credited as an aspect of the coursework (e.g. a short paper or final portfolio); more significant research is credited through upper-level seminar/studio work or capstone projects at the 4000 level.

Getting paid for research

Faculty may remunerate students from their research funds, and students may apply for internal and external grants to support collaborative research with faculty.

Thesis or capstone research

Students may (but are not required to) develop a capstone project through ad hoc independent study or small sections of upper-level courses in a particular medium. For those who do not choose this path, research practice is still scaffolded through the curriculum, culminating in required upper-level courses.