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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. SURE Research Assistants apply to work several hours per week with a sustainability scientist or scholar while taking the 3-credit Spring course, SOS 394: Sustainability Research Design and Practice. 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. This course can be used towards your degree program as upper-division elective credit, or a track or related-discipline elective if appropriate. Additional course credit and/or funding may also be available for certain positions or for students who demonstrate financial need.

3. Research Fellow – Advance beyond the Assistant level by engaging with research for more than one year. At this level students will take additional course credits in the form of Individualized Instruction (SOS 499), Workshop (SOS 498) coursework, or Internship (SOS 484) hours. To fulfill the extra course requirement, Barrett Honors students can also take Research / Thesis hours (HON 492 / 493).

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.

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