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Research for Credit:

This is an opportunity for students to engage in undergraduate research for credit as independent study. If students wish to pursue this option, the student must elicit sponsorship from a faculty member. Students who receive university credit for research cannot apply for funding.


Step 1: Hypothesis and topic of interest

Student identifies hypothesis and topic of interest that they want to explore more in-depth, maybe first consider directed reading

Step 2: Time commitment

Student identifies if they have the time commitment for this research/project

  • Choose which quarter would work
  • Understand course enrollment deadlines (199 course & Stanford’s Academic Calendar [open enrollment])
Step 3: Faculty member sponsor

Student finds a faculty member to sponsor their research (Developing a Mentor Relationship)

  • Faculty can be outside of MCS but the topic should relate to the MCS (learning outcomes) of the program, might require approval through MCS Faculty Advisor
Step 4:

Student enrolls in the appropriate 199 Independent Study course under the sponsored faculty

  • If approved, will accept a maximum of 3 units towards the MCS elective category or 3 units towards the 15 unit min for Honors
  • Be aware of deadlines outlined in Stanford’s Academic Calendar
  • Will require MCS SSO or MCS Faculty Advisor approval
Step 6: Student may continue research for credit for enrichment purposes
  • Faculty must agree to continue sponsorship
  • Student still may only apply a maximum of 3 units towards the MCS elective category, however units could be applied towards university unit requirements towards graduation. Student should contact Academic Advising to verify

Summer Research Programs (cannot request university credit):

This is an opportunity for students to engage in undergraduate research through an approved program or on their own, not for university credit. The student must elicit sponsorship from a faculty member or be accepted into an approved program. Students are eligible to receive funding towards their research (if approved) most programs provide funding in the form of a stipend.

Stanford Off-Campus Learning Opportunities - Research

Step 2: See if student meets the eligibility & requirements
Step 3: Take note of deadlines
Step 4: Apply to the approved program
Step 5: If applying for funding outside of an approved program:
  • Each of these opportunities represents significant time commitments and is intended to support a student’s unique full-time effort on a project.

Check out MCS Honors in the Program

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