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Undergraduate Research Course Attribute

The Undergraduate Research Council (URC) oversees the College’s course attribute for Undergraduate Research (UR). The UR attribute may be assigned to courses or sections of courses in which undergraduate students engage in an authentic experiential scholarly research or creative activity. The College follows the National Council on Undergraduate Research’s definition that can be broadly applied to all academic disciplines as: An inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that generates new knowledge and makes an original, intellectual, or creative contribution to the discipline.

Assigning the UR attribute to a course provides a means to formally recognize students for these high-level experiential learning activities (the UR attribute will show up on the official student transcript and Degree Works). The UR attribute will also permit the institution to assess levels of research/creative activity among our students and assess how well the college is meeting its stated mission/goals as pertaining to experiential learning.

The attribute is not appropriate for: (1) methods courses that cover research topics (e.g., measurement and evaluation, quantitative skills, etc.), nor (2) survey or literature-based research courses (e.g., those that result in review papers) and research related seminars. 

The URC has developed a set of learning outcomes that are appropriate for the UR attribute and can be applied in all academic disciplines across departments/schools at SUNY Cortland. To be considered for the UR attribute, a course (or section of a course) should address the following four learning outcomes:

  1. Articulate a research question, hypothesis, position, or purpose within the context of a discipline
  2. Describe scholarly context of research question, hypothesis, position, or purpose within a discipline
  3. Apply current and appropriate techniques and methodologies in a research or creative project
  4. Communicate knowledge from an original scholarly or creative project in a manner appropriate for that discipline

Download the UR attribute request form [pdf] [docx

Download the assessment rubric [pdf]

Completed UR attribute request forms should be forwarded to the URC Director: Maria Timberlake [] Requests for the UR attribute will be evaluated by the Undergraduate Research Council and upon acceptance, notification will be forwarded to the respective requesting faculty/department and also to the Registrar for processing.