Want to do research in the Department of Family Science?

Research experiences enable students to make original contributions to knowledge in family studies. Our faculty often involve undergraduate and graduate students in their research projects as research assistants. Graduate students also do independent research while working on a Master’s thesis or a doctoral dissertation.

Graduate Students

If you are a graduate student interested in a particular research area or project, please contact the faculty member directly to inquire about upcoming opportunities. Many graduate students participate on faculty research teams prior to doing independent research. These experiences often help students to identify a thesis or dissertation topic.

A list of current faculty research projects in Family Science is available online here.

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate research provides students with unique opportunities to develop problem-solving, communication, and statistical skills, and to acquire experiences that will improve their chances for acceptance into many graduate schools. Students also acquire teamwork skills that are valued by employers and graduate programs.

Undergraduate research enables you to gain new knowledge of the topic you study. You’ll get to know a professor, and a professor will get to know you. You’ll be able to take advantage of opportunities only available at research universities like the University of Maryland.

Most undergraduates work on a faculty member’s research project, but it is also possible to do your own independent project with faculty guidance. Students in our Departmental Honors Program also complete an honors thesis.

Undergraduate students can receive departmental academic credit for participating in faculty research. Students completing undergraduate research experiences may also participate in the University’s Undergraduate Research Assistant Program, which provides a transcript notation documenting the research experience.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Please visit our Undergraduate Research page to learn more about how undergraduates can become involved in family science research.

Tips for Undergraduate Researchers

  • Take courses in statistics (EDMS 451 or STAT 100) early in your junior year.
  • Review Faculty Research and Undergraduate Research Opportunities on this website.
  • Ask Family Science professors and graduate students about research opportunities in the department.
  • Read the publications of the professor whose research project you wish to join, especially those articles related to your area of research interest.
  • Email or visit the professor with whom you want to work; most enjoy talking about their research with students.
  • Develop a personal statement summarizing your background and why you are interested in a specific research project.
  • Determine the expectations of your involvement in a research project before you begin; ask many questions to insure the project interests you.
  • Ask the professor if you can receive academic credit for your work on a research project (FMSC 399 or FMSC 498).
  • If you are seeking to do an independent project (rather than working on a professor’s research team), write a 1-page brief that includes your research questions, the proposed methods, and the anticipated value of your research project.
  • Ask many questions as you proceed, and seek out readings that will help you to obtain background on your research problem.
  • Complete the paperwork for the University of Maryland Undergraduate Research Assistant Program in order to have your research experience noted on your transcript.
  • Present your research at UMCP’s Undergraduate Research Day.
  • Seek out opportunities to attend state, regional, and national professional meetings that present family studies research.
  • Ask your faculty mentor how you can submit your research project for a presentation or poster session at a professional meeting.