Nearly All UT Students Do Research—and It Pays

UT students are doing undergraduate research in record numbers, and the benefits turn out to be huge.

A new study from UT’s Office of Assessment found that 89 percent of all UT undergrads, and 94 percent of seniors, have participated in some form of research on the Forty Acres.

“We were surprised in a really good way by these results,” says Gale Stuart, UT’s director of assessment and an author of the study. “What we think we’ve demonstrated powerfully is that research engagement of any kind promotes graduation in four years, as well as going to graduate school.”

The study found that students who do research fare better in almost every measure of academic success—even when factors like SAT scores and socioeconomic background are taken out of the picture.

“Students more engaged in research tend to graduate in four years more often, earn better grades, and have more ambitious academic goals than their less engaged counterparts,” say UT’s Casey Brown and Gale Stuart in the study.

Another notable finding: UT students who spend a lot of time with clubs and organizations don’t suffer academically. In fact, out-of-class involvement may even boost graduation rates. The study found that students who spent more than 25 hours per week on extracurriculars were more likely to graduate in four years than their less-involved peers.

Now Longhorns have one more reason to hit the lab—and join a club.

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons




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