Identify Important Questions and Seek Answers
Academic, Professional, and Personal Enrichment
Following the PathwayOregon Agreement and meeting with an Advisor will help you work towards your academic goals and earn a college degree. Along the way, however, we at PathwayOregon will encourage you to connect your coursework to your interests and passions beyond the classroom. UO history professor Kevin Hatfield described this connection at the 2015 IntroDUCKtion sessions as an answer to the following question: “what’s your problem?” Are you committed to working on issues of environmental sustainability? Are you passionate about women’s health? Are you drawn to the fight for social justice? Are you interested in the ways that all three of the previous questions are connected?
Put another way, we want to urge you to seek enrichment: to find ways of deepening your engagement with your UO education. Your “problem” will likely change as you continue with your studies: you may discover that your coursework helps to sharpen your initial question or find that an entirely different issue unexpectedly captures your interest. Regardless, your time as a UO student will provide you with many opportunities to gear your coursework, career planning, and even your leisure time to questions and problems that you find meaningful.
One way students and faculty engage with important problems is by conducting research. The University of Oregon provides several opportunities for planning successful research projects and working towards presenting your work to the campus community and beyond.
Undergraduate Research Symposium
This annual event provides an opportunity for UO undergraduates to demonstrate how their research contributes to the ongoing conversations of their respective fields. In order to participate, students submit abstracts to a selection committee and then, if accepted, present their work individually or in teams. These presentations can include papers, posters, performances, and installations.
Interested in pursuing PhD work after graduation? For those students who meet eligibility requirements and successfully apply, the McNair program provides academic and financial support as well as access to a small community of committed scholars. See the program website for more information on eligibility requirements, benefits, and application deadlines.
Individual Research, Presentations, and Publishing
If you have identified a project you think makes a significant contribution to your field, you can also solicit the advice and mentorship of a UO faculty member. Faculty can help you refine the project, prepare conference abstracts, and even work towards publishing. If you want to begin this process but aren’t sure how to get started, be sure to schedule a meeting with a PathwayOregon advisor!
Internships can provide insight into how professional writers, accountants, and lawyers, for example, have turned their particular “problems” into careers. UO students can design their own internship experiences with the help of major faculty, Career Center staff, and advisors. They can also earn academic credit! To learn more, check out the UO Career Center’s website, contact them to schedule an appointment, or speak to a PathwayOregon Advisor.
UO’s Service Learning Program (SLP) creates partnerships between campus and the larger Community. Located in the Holden Leadership Center in the Erb Memorial basement, the SLP can help students arrange volunteer internships, take a service-learning course, or embark on an Alternative Break experience. Feel free to stop by the Center any time, Monday-Friday, 8-5pm. They welcome walk-ins!
You may discover, as you get closer to completing your undergraduate degree, that B.A. and/or B.S. coursework simply doesn’t afford you enough time to explore the problems and questions that drive you. In that case, the UO offers a number of programs and people ready to help you select exciting graduate school programs, prepare for graduate school entrance exams (LSAT, MCAT, GRE, etc.), and create successful application materials.
Health Professions Program (HPP)
For those students who aspire to a career in a health-related field, HPP advisors provide assistance with major selection, research and internship opportunities, entrance exam preparation, and application materials. Contact the Teaching and Learning Center at 346-3226 to learn more or schedule an appointment.
TLC Test Prep
The Teaching and Learning Center offers a series of workshops each term to prepare for the GRE (graduate school), MCAT (medical school), or GMAT (business and management school) exams. To learn more about dates and times, pricing, and registration, visit the test prep site or call the TLC at 346-3226.
Meet with an Advisor
You will likely need to consult with your major advisor about your graduate school plans and to ensure that you have the strongest possible application materials. If you have mentoring relationships with other faculty members, you might want to schedule appointments with them as well, to discuss your goals as well as to solicit recommendation letters. And as always, we would encourage you to meet with a PathwayOregon Advisor!
We hope that these resources help you find ways to enrich your time at the University and to discover important and meaningful problems that call for engaged thinkers like you.