Undergraduate Research

The Department of Health and Exercise Science (HES) encourages undergraduate students to get involved in research, and many undergraduate students carry out independent research projects under the guidance of HES faculty members. Students can use these research experiences to obtain academic credit through Independent Study (HES 3990 and HES 4990) and also to fulfill the requirements for graduation with Honors in HES.

Many students also participate in the annual Undergraduate Research Day, a one-day conference, hosted by the Honors College, that showcases outstanding undergraduate research and creative activity for an audience of other students, faculty, and parents.

If you are interested in participating in an HES research project, click on the links below to discover the many areas of research in which HES faculty are involved. You may then contact an individual faculty member to inquire about available openings.

HES faculty areas of specialty
HES faculty webpages


Honors Requirements

Graduating with Honors requirements:
1. Honors College acceptance.
2. To graduate cum laude you must complete:
Honor Perspectives (HON 2973), 3 hours
Honors Colloquium (HON 3993), 3 hours
Honors Electives*, 9 hours
Honors Reading**, 2 hours
Honors Research, 3 hours

*This may include Honors designated courses, OU study abroad programs, and OSLEP, Feaver-MacMinn, Puterbaugh, or Neustadt seminars.

**This requirement is typically waived by your senior capstone, and the exceptions to this rule are based upon major; please contact your department for more information. Some departments require 7 hours of reading/research.

3. Submit the Honors College graduation form during the first two weeks of the semester you plan to graduate.
4. Submit Honors Thesis (generally, Honors Reading and Research project) to the Honors College office.
5. Maintain OU retention GPA and combined retention GPA of 3.40 or above.
6. Students completing the Honors College curricular requirements will have a degree designation of:
Cum Laude (3.40-3.59)
Magna cum Laude (3.60-3.79)
Summa cum Laude (3.80-4.00)

Enrolling in Honors Research and/or Honors Reading
The Honors College has an enrollment process in which the student and professor must meet to fill out a research proposal form. The completed form is then signed by the Honors coordinator of that department (Dr. Mike Bemben). The form is then submitted to the Honors College for approval by the Honors College Dean. Upon approval enrollment permission to enroll is granted by the Honors College staff and then by the HES department academic advisor.


Summer Research Opportunities

The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Summer Undergraduate Research Programs
The Graduate College at the OU Health Sciences Center hosts four summer undergraduate research programs aimed at preparing and encouraging undergraduate students to pursue careers in biomedical research or health related sciences. Studies show that undergraduate research programs are beneficial to the success of applying to and completion of a graduate degree program. Our programs introduce outstanding undergraduate students to the rigorous academic preparation required to achieve these goals, through participation in intensive, hands-on research experiences in the laboratories of OUHSC biomedical faculty mentors.

The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)

The Native American Research Center for Health (NARCH) Student Development Program

The IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) Summer Research Program

The Stephenson Cancer Center (SCC) Summer Researc h Program (SRP)

Stipend: All summer programs provide stipends of at least $3,000 plus housing or a housing allowance, which is subject to federal and state withholding tax. The stipend is paid in three installments over the summer.