First Experiences in Research

Student studying

Before doing FE-R, I had no real idea what research in the social sciences was like, or how it was conducted. This experience allowed me to encounter research first-hand, and truly understand what it entails to work toward answering a research question.

- Srihaasa Kompella (economics-statistics, physics)

Read Srihaasa's story.

Through our First Experiences in Research (FE-R) program, Dietrich School students can gain meaningful, hands-on research experience in their very first year. And we’re not just talking about white coat, test tube, science lab research. Research projects with Pitt’s world-renowned faculty are available across all disciplines. How about analyzing camera angles in Breaking Bad? Or creating snow fences alongside an acclaimed studio artist? Or interviewing actual lighting designers on Broadway? Or dispelling stereotypes about refugees? 

Undergraduates conduct research as early as the spring term of their first year through First Experiences in Research (FE-R). In the fall term, you'll be paired with an expert faculty member. In the spring term, you'll conduct hands-on research with that faculty member. Projects come from across all disciplines and areas of interest—including biology, communications, economics, music, neurology, political science, studio arts, and theatre arts, to name a few. 

Students enroll in the spring term ARTSC 0120: First Experiences in Research course to learn the fundamental of research, and showcase their work in the campus-wide Celebration of Research poster session at the end of the term. Students conduct five or 10 hours per week to earn one or two academic credits.

Continuing Experiences in Research

FE-R students are eligible for Continuing Experiences in Research (CE-R) in the fall term following FE-R. In this second consecutive term, students strengthen research skills, earn academic credits, and delve deeper into research. The accompanying CE-R course introduces students to writing for conferences, articles, and independent research proposals