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The Sustainability Undergraduate Research Experience Program at Arizona State University

The SURE program offers a tiered approach to research opportunities for undergraduate students in the School of Sustainability. The three levels of the program provide different types of involvement, experiences, and time commitments.

1. Research Apprentice – Discover current research opportunities and careers while also learning about graduate school through the 1-credit course, SOS 294: Exploring Sustainability Research. Students will explore research opportunities in which they can become involved (though no commitment is required). The course will host several guest speakers including ASU faculty as well as graduate and undergraduate researchers. The class involves a “Y = Satisfactory” grading system, and the main requirements are attendance and in-class participation. Visit the full description and link to enroll for this Fall SOS 294.

2. Research Assistant – Gain substantive research experience by participating in an approved, faculty-supervised project for at least one full semester. Research Assistants chosen for a SURE project will enroll for 3 credits of Individualized Instruction with their faculty supervisor. This amounts to a 6-8 hours per week of work on the project. Depending on the level of the student (e.g., first year to senior), the course numbers are SOS 194, 294, 394, or 499. Talk to your SOS advisor to determine which credits are most appropriate for you.

3. Research Fellow – Advance beyond the Assistant level by taking SOS 394: Sustainability Research Design and Practice in spring term. In this course students will develop practical research questions, receive training in graphic and visual communication, and create poster presentations in collaboration with their research supervisor and the class. To enroll, students must simultaneously enroll for at least 2 credit hours of Individuals Instruction (see course numbers above). For Barrett students, your Research / Thesis hours (HON 492 / 493) may also apply for these independent credit hours.

Research-based course credits may apply to student’s upper-division electives or electives in your chosen track or related discipline. The SOS advisors can help students decide which coursework is best suited to their studies. Sustainability students can also gain research experience through relevant Workshop (SOS 498) courses, Internship (SOS 484) hours, or other research-based credits. Ask your SOS advisor how to get involved.

How to Get Involved

If you are interested in exploring opportunities and developing a fundamental understanding of sustainability-focused research, register for the 1-credit SOS 294 course, Exploring Sustainability Research, in fall term. To continue participating in the program, apply to work on an approved project (see projects here) with a sustainability scientist or scholar and take SOS 394, Sustainability Research Design and Practice, in the spring term.

Interested students can access the application to work on an approved project here. You must be logged into your My ASU account to access the application. Deadline to submit: September 30, 2018

If you have questions about the program, contact your SOS Advisor by emailing: or email the SURE Director, Professor Kelli Larson at