URC-HASS Student Felipe Huicochea with Faculty Mentor Hannah Appel


Undergraduate Research Center – Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Research Program Impact

UCLA is unique in offering a center dedicated to undergraduate research in humanities, arts, social science, and behavioral science disciplines. The Undergraduate Research Center for the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (URC-HASS) offers research and scholarship programs, research courses, faculty and student workshops, individual mentoring, and presentation and publication opportunities.

Analysis of URC-HASS major (multi-quarter) research scholarship programs shows they support UCLA priorities in equity, diversity, and inclusion while building transferable academic skills, fostering personal development, cultivating community, and preparing students for careers.

Click here to read our complete report on the impact of URC-HASS’s programming.


Research Collaboration Highlights the Role of Undergraduate Research in Building Career-Related Skills for Humanities and Social Science Majors

New research published in the summer 2021 edition (Volume 4, Number 4) of the journal Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research (SPUR) highlights the important role that participating in undergraduate research plays in helping humanities, arts, and social science students develop important skills desired by today’s employers. Click here to access the full article on the Council of Undergraduate Research’s website for Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research (SPUR) in Volume 4, Number 4.

While many studies on undergraduate research outcomes are focused on STEM fields, the widely variable experiences in the humanities, arts, and social sciences are less known and harder to study. The structure and standardization of the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URSP) and Undergraduate Research Fellows Program (URFP), both offered through UCLA’s Undergraduate Research Center – Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (URC-HASS), however, provide a unique opportunity to study the outcomes of these students. Compared with a quasi-control group of non-research students, students engaged in research reported statistically significant better outcomes on average in attaining skills related to critical thinking/problem solving, professionalism/work ethic, and oral/written communication, three of the top four competencies desired by hiring employers, as ranked by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

This study and publication are the result of an ongoing collaboration between the URC-HASS and the Center for Educational Assessment (CEA). The authors of the paper are Drs. Kelly Kistner (Assistant Director, URC-HASS), Erin M. Sparck (Postdoctoral Scholar, CEA), Amy Liu (Research Analyst, CEA), Hannah Whang Sayson (Assistant Director of Data Analytics, CEA), Marc Levis-Fitzgerald (Director, CEA), and Whitney Arnold (Director, URC-HASS).