Getting Involved

As the saying goes, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” This is particularly true for starting and advancing your career. USU is home to eight colleges and several departments. There are many clubs and organizations available to you. As early as possible, you try to meet people in your field and build your contact list.

This kind of networking grants you special access to jobs that are not publicly announced but are filled through known contacts. As an undergraduate, networking is also a valuable tool for you to find your future mentor(s). Here at USU, there are plenty of opportunities to build your network through the following clubs and professional organizations:

College of Agriculture & Applied Sciences

The College of Agriculture is a strong, research-based college that is able to offer undergraduate researchers a wide range of research opportunities in all six of the departments. Some examples of undergraduate research experiences include:

  • Testing antiviral substances that are components of biomedical drugs
  • Identifying genetic markers for economically important traits in livestock animals
  • Learning to apply water intelligently (data-based water application)
  • Examining the impact of production agriculture and food processing on
  • The state’s economy
  • Testing food products for acceptability by consumers

The associate dean for the College of Agriculture will meet with undergraduate researchers to help them identify interests and career goals and get them teamed with a faculty mentor in a common area of interest. Students are often able to present their research findings at regional and national undergraduate conferences and publish in peer-reviewed journals with their faculty mentors and graduate students.

Departments

Animal, Dairy & Veterinary Sciences Department

Visit the Animal, Dairy & Veterinary Sciences Department.

Agricultural Communication Club: Fosters career and professional development among future agricultural communicators and facilitates public relations within the College of Agriculture and Applied sciences.

Animal Science Club: Exposes students to animal agriculture through traveling to different operations across the country, judging livestock, holding annual club calf sale, and a steer jackpot.

Dairy Science Club: Educates members and the community about today’s dairy industry though visits and field trips to farms.

Pre-Vet Club: Fosters camaraderie for fellow students within the pre-vet program and holds informative activities that provide them with useful knowledge and contacts within the field of veterinary medicine.

Sheep & Goat Club: Helps students to learn more about the sheep industry and assists students with placement in internships and career opportunities.

Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning Department

Visit the Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning Department.

American Society of Landscape Architects: Mirrors the mission of the national ASLA which is to advance landscape architecture through communication, fellowship, advocacy and education.

Nutrition, Dietetics & Food Sciences Department

Visit the Nutrition, Dietetics & Food Sciences Department.

Dietetic Student Association: Provides students with opportunities to network, increase awareness of career paths, learn current issues in nutrition, and collaborate on projects and activities related to nutrition and health.

Food Science ClubAssists food science and food technology majors’ professional development by participating in leadership roles and networking. The club also has a College Bowl team that competes in national product development competitions.

Plants, Soils & Climate Department

Visit the Plants, Soils & Climate Department.

Plants, Soils & Climate Club: Provides a means for students to meet together, build relationships, and participate in fund raising projects. The funds received from these projects are used to finance student competitions and trips in areas of interest throughout the western United States.

Soils Team: Participants engage in local, regional, and national competitions involving the description and classification of soils.

USU Student Organic Farm: Educates the students on healthy organic farming system while working together with the community to healthy local alternatives to grocery store produce.

School of Applied Sciences, Technology & Education

Visit the School of Applied Sciences, Technology & Education.

Aggie Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS): The Family and Consumer Sciences Education (FCSE) program trains students to become family and consumer sciences (FCS) teachers in middle and high schools.

Ag Tech Club: Facilitates student activities designed to develop leadership/technical skills and knowledge specific to agricultural systems technology.

Technology and Engineering Education Collegiate Association: TEECA gives students opportunities to build upon knowledge gained in their coursework through academic competitions and interaction with their peers. The club attends the annual International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) conference to complete against other TEECA chapters from across the country.

Experimental Rocket Club: Promotes knowledge of basic rocketry and provides hands-on rocket building experience for its members. It aims to design, create, and test experimental rockets in a reasonably safe environment.

NIFA Flight Team: Provides students with the opportunity to compete at the annual NIFA/SAFECON event in both ground and flight events. The club assists the participants In order to strengthen their skills.

School of Veterinary Medicine

Visit the School of Veterinary Medicine.

American Association of Equine Practitioners: Focuses on the creation and enhancement of Equine medicine among veterinary students and furthering the professional development of its members.

Caine College of the Arts

Research in the Caine College of the Arts is broadly defined to encompass a wide variety of creative and scholarly endeavors, including creation or analysis of works of art, theatre, music, and design performance of musical or theatrical works research, scholarship, and criticism of musical, theatrical, artistic, or design.

Undergraduate research in the arts and humanities is student-driven, faculty-mentored inquiry, scholarly investigation, and/or creative activity. The undergraduate researcher’s work may contribute to outcomes including, but not limited to, individual or collaborative analytical writing; oral presentation; small analytical products; works of visual art; compilations of scholarship; exhibits; musical compositions; plays; performance; public scholarship; and/or peer-reviewed publication. Whatever the research product, its value is generally weighed by standards specific to experts in the field, whether jurors, editors, or reviewers.

Each field of study within the college defines what it means to engage in “hands-on learning.” For some departments, a student on fellowship might have immediate immersion in a studio, while for other departments, the student might be involved in a research project using historical documents or case studies. An associate dean will coordinate, but students will have individual faculty mentors in their fields of study.

The Caine College of the Arts includes the departments of art, music, and theatre arts and the interior design program. Undergraduate researchers in the arts division could concentrate on production of the arts (as with studio arts such as printmaking or sculpture), the performance of the arts (as with the performance arts such as music or theatre), on interpretation and analysis of the arts (as with scholarship in the arts such as art, design, music or theatre history), or on pedagogy education in the arts (as with piano pedagogy or art, music, or theatre education). The above listing is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather to get undergraduate researchers thinking about the wide range of possibilities.

Advice on Undergraduate Research in the Arts

In general, students are expected to arrive on campus as a novice and to develop an apprentice relationship with a faculty mentor, learning from that mentor’s experience and expertise and then moving into more independent research projects.

Can a student undertake some of the foundational work for a project, particularly the bibliographic or historical area?

Are there meaningful supportive tasks that a student might take on, such as super titles for an operatic production or program notes for a performance?

Does the student have a particular skill that the scholar does not, such as a foreign or classical language that might contribute to the project? Or perhaps a student has a skill in technology that would be helpful in design or delivery of the project as in designing a web page?

Departments

Art & Design Department

Visit the Art & Design Department.

USU Photo Guild: Creates opportunities that supplements the students’ learning experience such as field trips, workshops, and exhibits organized by the guild.

USU Art Guild: A student-run organization which provides opportunities for students, faculty and community members to practice creativity and build a community with other artists. Each year it organizes figure study sessions, which help students refine their skills, and art discussions, which are a place for students to express what they think about a variety of art topics. In addition, each fall semester it sponsors the annual Halloween Art Auction as well as an Art Exhibition. The spring semester holds the Art Connections Trip  during spring break. This trip is an opportunity for students to get involved with the arts in a major city and meet with other artists.

Interior Design Program

Visit the Interior Design Program.

Music Department

Visit the Music Department.

Independent Music Club: Aims to promote music in the university through student participation and promote an outlet for students who are interested in music.

Music Therapy Student Association: Creates opportunities for musicians in the university and from the community to share their talents and give meaningful service by creating a pleasant ambiance music for patients at Logan Regional Intermountain Hospital.

All Music Clubs and Student Organizations: Clubs and Student Organizations offer students the opportunity to engage with other people in their discipline, area, or on their instrument to discuss ideas, learn, and make music. Most clubs are open to any university student, though some do require paid dues.

Theatre Arts Department

Visit the Theatre Arts Department.

USU Theatre Student Association: Provides the USU students with the means to attend conferences, workshops and functions that will further their education, opportunities to create theatrical performances, and gain experience within the world of Theatre Arts.

Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

The Jon M. Huntsman School of Business provides undergraduate researchers the opportunity to develop core competencies in the use of research methods critical to solving meaningful business and public policy issues. In recognition of the Fellowship, each student is invited to become an associate in The Research Group™, a nationally recognized consortium of university scholars, corporate leaders, and undergraduate students dedicated to high quality research experiences.

Working under the guidance of noted business scholars, students learn to develop, extend, and test theories that help guide business strategy. In doing so, students develop meaningful problem-solving skills that not only foster academic success, but life-long career success as well.

The program also provides students with the opportunity to receive recognition for their research efforts through presentations at regional and national undergraduate conferences, publications with faculty in peer-reviewed scholarly conference proceedings and/or journals, and/or preparation and presentation of technical reports for business and public organizations. In this way, students not only obtain important skills, they gain meaningful experience and bona fide evidence of scholarship.

Departments

Economics & Finance Department

Visit the Economics & Finance Department.

Finance and Economics Club: Exposes the students to exceptional speakers, provides experiences for hands-on learning and increase their networking opportunities. The Club organizes many activities annually such as Career Exploration Trips.

Management Department

Visit the Management Department.

Association for Information Systems: Promotes excellence in information systems education and provides students with opportunities for personal and professional development through various opportunities and events.

Business Intelligence Group: Facilitates meaningful and realistic experiences for students interested in Data Science and Information Systems through the application of data science theories learned in class.

Management Information Systems Department

Visit the Management Information Systems Department.

Center Huntsman Marketing Association (HMA): Trains its members in marketing and allows them to learn the skills of networking, resume building, and interviewing. Members are also provided exclusive opportunities to visit companies.

Shingo Institute Student Chapter: Formerly known as Leaders for Continuous Improvement, this group focuses on providing students with experience and skills required to get career placement through activities such as practice interviews, resume workshops with professionals, and company tours.

School of Accountancy

Visit the School of Accountancy.

Emma Eccles Jones College of Education & Human Services

The Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services can provide a diverse array of opportunities for new undergraduate researchers. Undergraduate researchers can engage in research that ranges among a diverse field of topics:

  • Internet access and assistive technologies for people with disabilities
  • Advanced readers at risk in elementary schools
  • Gender and play among children
  • Special needs infants and toddlers
  • Math virtual manipulatives
  • Drug dependency
  • Childhood obesity

The College is home to the Center for Persons with Disabilities, a leading research institution in the nation, the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management, the Center for the School of the Future, and the Emma Eccles Jones Early Childhood Center. New undergraduate researchers will have the opportunity also to be partnered with older undergraduates who can provide mentoring. The associate dean will work with new students to find appropriate projects.

Departments

Communicative Disorders & Deaf Education Department

Visit the Communicative Disorders & Deaf Education Department.

American Sign Language Club: Aims to create a place for all students and raise awareness about Deaf Culture in the world today. ASL provides opportunities for the hearing and the Deaf communities to communicate and socialize with one another.

National Student Speech, Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA): Organizes community service projects that provide literacy services to children and adults.

Student Academy of Audiology (SAA): Promotes hearing awareness through involvement in humanitarian efforts and provides audiology services and education to the community.

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies

Visit the Human Development and Family Studies Department.

Family FinanceProvides majors and other interested students opportunities for leadership, service, and social interaction.

Marriage and Family Therapy Student Association (MFTSA): Raises awareness about marriage and family therapy at USU and in the community through various activities.

Student Gerontology Association: Promotes the study of aging among students and help seniors in the community.

Kinesiology and Health Science (KHS) Department

Visit the Kinesiolgy & Health Science Department.

Pre-Occupational Therapy Club: A Pre-Professional club based out of Utah State University in Logan, Utah helping students gain a clear understanding of the field of OT, provide resources, knowledge, and events for the purposes of engaging students in meaningful, preparatory activities as they prepare for Grad-School in Occupational Therapy.

Parks and Recreation Club: Provides opportunities for students to meet on a regular basis to internships, employment, conference attendance, The Club also conducts community service and fundraising activities.

Pre-Physical Therapy Club: Provides unique opportunities for networking among physical therapists within and outside the community, and is an excellent resource for learning more about the physical therapy profession and the requirements for entry into the physical therapy program.

Instructional Technology & Learning Sciences Department

Visit the Instructional Technology & Learning Sciences Department.

Instructional Technology Student Association (ITSA): ITSA is dedicated to the implementation, and improvement of effective instructional design in education and corporate instruction.

Psychology Department

Visit the Psychology Department.

Psi Chi: An honor society that encourages excellence in scholarship through activities where professionals talk about important issues and career opportunities related to psychology.

School of Teacher Education and Leadership

Visit the School of Teacher Education and Leadership.

College of Engineering

The College of Engineering consists of five departments: Biological, Civil and Environmental, Electrical and Computer, Engineering and Technology Education, and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. All departments have Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredited undergraduate engineering programs.

Undergraduate researchers will work on real-life research projects with a faculty mentor and his or her team of researchers. Undergraduate research department coordinators match student interests with a faculty member engaged in that specific area of research.

One undergraduate researcher may find converting algae to biofuel of interest and work with a faculty mentor in the Biological Engineering Department. Another, concerned about water quality and the environment, may work with a faculty mentor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department to study water resources and ways to improve water quality, both nationally and internationally. An Electrical and Computer Engineering Department faculty member might mentor a student to investigate very low power communications devices for possible future implantation in the human body. The latest research in engineering education and training technology in the Engineering and Technology Education Department may be fascinating to one undergraduate researcher. Another may find the potential of thermal fluids or material sciences in nuclear engineering of great interest and get matched up with a faculty mentor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department.

The College of Engineering awards 10 fellowships each year to qualified juniors to engage in engineering research activities, and many other undergraduates are funded by faculty research projects. Research programs in the college are extensive and varied:

  • Bioprocess and bioenergy
  • Structural design and water quality
  • Highway technology
  • Networks and concurrent systems
  • Space science, signal and image processing
  • Aircraft operation and maintenance
  • Manufacturing and aerospace engineering

For more information on undergraduate research opportunities in the College of Engineering at Utah State, contact Jagath Kaluarachchi at jagath.kaluarachchi@usu.edu.

Departments

Biological Engineering Department

Visit the Biological Engineering Department.

Biological Engineering Club: Provides opportunities for students to network, meet up, get to know the professors, learn about research opportunities, and discover potential industry careers and internships.

Biomedical Engineering Society: Educates the future leaders of the profession and prepares them for multidisciplinary research fields by offering allowing them to participate in a wide range of activities that will enhance their careers.

Institute of Biological Engineering (IBE): Committed to finding solutions to global problems through education, research, and in developing biologically based technologies.

Civil & Environmental Engineering Department

Visit the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department.

American Water Resources Association (AWRA): Aims to advance multidisciplinary water resources education, management and research.

Electrical & Computer Engineering Department

Visit the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE): Serves its members by being their resource for achieving lifelong career vitality and through providing an effective voice on policies that promote U.S. prosperity.

Engineering Education Department

Visit the Engineering Education Department.

American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE): Aims to help students see all the possibilities an engineering degree offers them by promoting excellence in instruction, research, public service, and practice.

International Technology and Engineering Education Association (ITEEA): Increases student achievements in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by providing technological studies in safe facilities.

Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department

Visit the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department.

American Get Away Special Team: Caters to students who want to be involved with space research. One of its main research projects is the FUNBOE project which studies boiling dynamics in microgravity.

Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE): SAE global association of scientists, engineers, and practitioners that connects and educates its members while promoting, developing and advancing aerospace, commercial vehicle and automotive engineering.

Other National & College-Wide Organizations

DiscoverE (formerly National Engineers Week Foundation): Aims to sustain and grow a dynamic engineering profession through outreach, education, celebration and volunteer opportunities.

Engineers Without Borders (EWB): Supports community-driven development programs by collaborating with local partners in designing and implementing sustainable engineering projects.

College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Research in CHaSS is broadly defined to encompass scholarly work, creative writing, and both qualitative and quantitative research in the social sciences. Each field of study within the College defines what it means to engage in research. For some departments, a student on Fellowship might have immediate immersion in an archive, while for other departments, the student might be involved in conducting research projects or case studies. The associate dean will coordinate, but students will have individual faculty mentors in their fields of study.

The humanities division of CHaSS includes English, history, languages, and philosophy. Research and Creative Activity Fellows in the humanities division could concentrate on written production (such as plays, stories, essays, poems, and articles), professional work documents, multimedia productions, interpretation and analysis, studies of folklore and folklife, or research about women and gender or cultural studies.

The social science division of CHaSS includes anthropology, journalism and communication, military science and aerospace studies, political science, social work, sociology, and speech communication. Undergraduate researchers in the social science division could concentrate on either primary or secondary research, including interviews and surveys, field research, analyses of quantitative or qualitative data related to human behavior and human societies, and the interpretation and production of media and mass communications such as newspapers or television.

The above listing is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather to get undergraduate researchers thinking about the wide range of possibilities. Common to all research in CHaSS is some kind of systematic inquiry or practice that is designed to further our knowledge, understanding, or appreciation.

Departments

English Department

Visit the English Department.

English Clubs and Organizations: These outlets provide additional arenas for learning and networking. Moreover, they can serve as a place where likeminded people can come together and students can build professional skills. The English department has several clubs for students to join and explore something new.

History Department

Visit the History Department.

Religious Studies Club: Facilitates activities which benefit the university and stimulates academic interest, rigor, and understanding of religion and the field of Religious Studies.

Phi Alpha Theta: An honor society for history majors and enthusiasts that promotes the love of history through sponsored activities and service projects.

Journalism & Communication Department

Visit the Journalism & Communication Department.

Public Relations Student Society of America: Strives to unite PR students with the current trends in the field and help build a strong foundation for their career path.

USU Student Clubs and Organizations: Provides real-life work experience for talented writers, artists and future business leaders with a passion for journalism and PR.

Languages, Philosophy & Communication Studies Department

Visit the Languages, Philosophy & Communication Studies Department.

Communication Studies Club: Provides learning opportunities where faculty and students can interact through social events and academic activities.

Japan Club: Organizes fun, interesting, and meaningful activities that unite the Japanese and American students and promote mutual cultural awareness.

Middle East Club: Open to Arab and non-Arab students alike, the club aims to create mutual understanding and appreciation through linguistic, political, religious and cultural immersion in activities that help foster an environment of learning.

MSLT Club: Allows current and former MSLT students to connect, share, and collaborate in practices of second language teaching and to discuss current researches in Second Language Acquisition.

Russian Club: Aims to increase cultural knowledge through educational opportunities, service projects, and fun recreational activities.

Spanish Club: Helps the students and the community to improve their language capabilities and cultural understanding of Spanish speaking countries.

Political Science Department

Visit the Political Science Department.

USU College Democrats: Provides means for involvement and information that enables students to be politically involved with the National Democratic Party.

USU College Republicans: Creates awareness of conservative beliefs on campus and helps advance the Republican cause through activism, education, events and involvement in the USU campus.

Aggies GO! Geopolitical Observatory: Aggies Geopolitical Observatory is a service of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences of Utah State University. We believe in the land grant mission of the university. We want to use the things we talk about on campus to help you make sense of global politics.

Pi Sigma Alpha; The National Political Science Honor Society: Pi Sigma Alpha seeks to promote excellence in the study of political science through a variety of programs for student members and local chapters. As Pi Sigma Alpha continues to grow and prosper, the scope of programs for chapters and members may be expanded in the future to include bigger awards and/or more awards in several categories.

Sociology, Social Work & Anthropology Department

Visit the Sociology, Social Work & Anthropology Department.

Anthropology Club: Promotes anthropological interests and awareness and prepares students for careers requiring skills and knowledge from liberal arts and natural sciences.

Medical Unity: Prepares future health care providers to operate in a Spanish-speaking cultural environment and to become culturally competent healthcare professionals.

S. J. & Jessie E. College of Natural Resources

University undergraduate researchers in the College of Natural Resources can participate in a wide range of research activities, reflecting the breadth of scientific interests that students seeking natural resource and environmental careers can pursue. Some possible examples might include:

  • Assisting with soil sampling and analysis in the wildland soils laboratory
  • Testing wildlife DNA in the conservation genetics laboratory
  • Interviewing and entering data from hikers, ATV riders and other outdoor enthusiasts for studies done by the Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism
  • Making field measurements of forest and rangeland plants
  • Sampling streams and ponds for chemical analyses or invertebrate population sampling
  • Gathering the latest published scientific information about a broad spectrum of topics, from geographic and environmental education to stream flow dynamics and behavior and habitat needs of endangered North American and tropical wildlife

Refer to the college website for more information.

Departments

Environment & Society Department

Visit the Environment & Society Department.

Watershed Sciences Department

Visit the Watershed Sciences Department.

Wildland Resources Department

Visit the Wildland Resources Department.

Society for Range Management: A group of students who are interested in range science and related fields. They sponsor activities that allow its members to learn about current issues in range and offer educational opportunities to the community.

The Wildlife Society: Prepares students for careers dealing with wildlife through hands-on experience, professional meetings, guest speakers, and specialty field trips.

Student Subunit, Utah Chapter, American Fisheries Society: Improves the conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems by advancing fisheries and aquatic science.

College-Wide Organizations

Visit the College-Wide Organizations.

Berryman Institute: A national organization dedicated to improving human-wildlife relationships and providing hands-on field experience with human-wildlife conflict management professionals.

QCNR Ambassadors: The Ambassadors are representatives, recruiters, and advocates of the QCNR at events across campus, on college tours, in high schools, at transfer schools, and other opportunities throughout Utah and Idaho.

Society of American Foresters: Advances the science, technology, education, and practice of professional foresters to benefit society.

Student Organization for Society and Natural ResourcesConnects students to the environment through service opportunities and educational activities.

College of Science

Each department’s undergraduate research coordinator will be involved in describing the exciting and diverse opportunities for research available in their respective areas. Students may also attend seminars and other departmental activities to get to know other undergraduates and the faculty in their major department. Students will participate in their placement after learning of the opportunities that various departments have to offer. Before the end of the first semester each undergraduate researcher will be teamed with a faculty mentor in their area of interest.

Departments

Biology Department

Visit the Biology Department.

Entomology Club: Educates and involves students and community members in entomology through outreach, social events, beekeeping and research.

Industrial Hygiene Club: Evaluates and controls chemical and physical hazards in the workplace. The members are also exposed to IH by socializing with those already in the program and networking with local certified IHs.

Chemistry & Biochemistry Department

Visit the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department.

Chemistry & Biochemistry Club: Promotes science awareness in the community, specifically chemistry and biochemistry.

Computer Science Department

Visit the Computer Science Department.

Sign Free Software and GNU/Linux ClubAn organization for professionals and students who love computing and strive for a better computing world.

Department of Geosciences

Visit the Department of Geosciences.

Geology Club: Serves and educates the community of Cache Valley and sparks interest in people who are not educated in the subject of geology.

Mathematics & Statistics Department

Visit the Mathematics & Statistics Department.

USU Applied Mathematics Club: Aims to increase interest in mathematics through guest speakers, short seminars on computational methods, competitions in mathematics, introductory classes on computational software and teacher training workshops.

Other Organizations

Pharmacy Club: Helps students to prepare for a career in pharmacy.

Pre-Physician Assistant Club: Helps USU students to successfully prepare for PA school.