Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity

Welcome to the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga!  While URCA is housed within the Honors College at UTC, its aim and scope is to service the entire campus community by communicating and facilitating opportunities for undergraduate research and creative activity, as well as to highlight what our students and faculty are doing both inside and out of the classroom or laboratory.  The 2014-2015 academic year will serve as an information gathering and planning year as we seek to establish both our presence and the function of URCA on our campus.

The Council of Undergraduate Research (CUR) defines undergraduate research as “an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.” Here at UTC, our community understands inquiry to be a scholarly process that centers on asking a question or solving a problem and that culminates in a final product worthy of presentation at a professional conference, a public performance, or even in a peer-reviewed publication.

Students find that immersing themselves in a focused research project or creative venture gives them a chance to personalize their undergraduate experience; these projects often serve as a springboard for independent study, internships, longer thesis projects, or even the seed for future graduate work. These experiences are invaluable for students considering graduate study, applying for competitive scholarships such as the Rhodes, Truman or Fulbright, or immediately entering their chosen vocation. Most importantly, undergraduate research and creative activity helps all students get the absolute most out of their undergraduate education.

Please feel free to contact us directly and share your thoughts and ideas on how URCA can better serve UTC’s students, faculty, and staff. We're also interested in providing creative and innovative learning and research experiences with our partners in the beautiful city of Chattanooga, so if you have thoughts on any of these topics, please send us an email at urca@utc.edu.