School of Arts & Humanities Receives $200,000 Grant for Undergraduate Research Program

W.M. Keck Foundation LogoThe W.M. Keck Foundation recently awarded the College of Arts & Sciences a multi-year $200,000 grant to establish an innovative new undergraduate research program in the School of Arts & Humanities.

With this grant, the School of Arts & Humanities will develop and implement an Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Inquiry (URSCI) curriculum to offer research opportunities and benefits to every student in the school. Courses will be redesigned to include research methodologies unique to the arts and humanities, with a strong focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and opportunities for students to disseminate their scholarly work.

Engaging in undergraduate research is known to improve critical and creative thinking, as well as communication and teamwork skills. It also correlates with higher GPAs, retention and graduation rates. Historically, though, undergraduate research support has focused on the natural sciences. Implementation of URSCI curricula with the funding from the Keck Foundation will provide students in the School of Arts & Humanities with equitable access to the benefits of undergraduate research, including stronger critical thinking, deeper engagement with their fields of study, and pursuit of graduate education.

Based in Los Angeles, the W.M. Keck Foundation was established in 1954 by the late W.M. Keck, founder of the Superior Oil Company. The foundation’s grant-making is focused primarily on pioneering efforts in the areas of medical research, science and engineering and undergraduate education. The foundation also maintains a Southern California Grant Program that provides support for the Los Angeles community, with a special emphasis on children and youth.

Through its Undergraduate Education Program, the W.M. Keck Foundation promotes distinctive learning and research opportunities for undergraduate students in science, engineering and the liberal arts. Program priorities include development of new ways to stimulate critical thinking, a fostering of new levels of student engagement and understanding through active learning and collaboration, and incorporation of research activities into the curriculum. For more information, please visit



Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017