Undergraduate Research and Internships

Internships, Field Study & More Opportunities for Research!

Most of these options include LALS elective coursework that can count toward a major or minor. 

Community Outreach/Service:
Politics / Policy:
Topics Vary:
Dolores Huerta Research Center for the Americas (find funding, internship, and research opportunities)
EOP's Pathways to Research Program
Transforming Futures (funding for summer internships)

Why Should You Do Undergraduate Research? Your FAQs Answered

Is research right for me? When should I begin research?

Once you've learned the basics of what undergraduate research entails, all you need is a question, or a feeling of curiosity, to get started. Most students find that research enhances their undergraduate experience, adding a focus and sense of purpose to their UCSC studies. If you want to see if research might be right for you, try doing a mini research project with a topic you learn about in one of your classes. Search a question the material sparks for you and see what comes up. Are you eager to learn more?

I have my own topic or interest in mind, how do I get started?

LALS students who are interested in designing their own research projects are encouraged to take LALS 100A/L as early as possible, since it "Introduces students to the methods and analytic approach of social science research within the field of LALS, with an emphasis on research in pursuit of social justice." It also "Builds practical research skills including developing research questions, writing surveys, and conducting interviews."

LALS students should also check out the UCSC Undergraduate Research and Social Sciences Division pages for more information on getting started in undergraduate research. For help with applying to research awards and scholarships, please feel free to contact the LALS Advisor.

We enjoy a close connection with the Dolores Huerta Research Center for the Americas (RCA), which sponsors research projects and internships in-house, like the Human Rights Investigations Lab. The Huerta Center is also connected with the Institute for Social Transformation, where you might find more opportunities to get involved in community-based organizations and research through its Social Sciences Centers partners.

Is research necessary as an undergraduate?

Absolutely not. But please read a few student testimonials before you make a decision!

Janely Cardenas “I can actually make a difference here, I can highlight these deficit attributions and how harmful they are."

Through her undergraduate research, Cardenas worked to combat harmful perceptions many first-generation students experience. Cardenas hopes her research might influence tutors and others in teaching roles to be aware of their perceptions and find ways to adapt to the circumstances of their students.

Marissa Guzman "I am so grateful for the opportunity to pursue an intellectual interest outside of class with the support of my major departments."

Guzman's undergraduate research on the implications of global economic impacts on gender relations in Cuba has inspired her to pursue her PhD and given her the confidence to strive for higher academic goals.

Diana Garcia "I feel like I am actually making a change by pushing this knowledge of conducting research onto the younger generations early on, making sure that they know that they can be part of creating change."

With the facilitation of Youth Participatory Action Research, Garcia has worked with immigrant youth, studying how they negotiate their intersecting identities while fostering a sense of belonging at school and their family ethnic socialization.


View student research presentations from the LALS 2021 Undergraduate Research Symposium below: