Pomona is a community of daring minds. It is a place for students who are venturesome by choice, who have talent, passion, and independence of spirit, and who are prepared to dream big and work hard in order to make a difference in the world.
One way that Pomona College provides opportunities for students to excel is through research opportunities. Conducting research as an undergraduate not only gives students an advantage when applying for fellowships or graduate school; it also gives them a chance to tackle real-world problems and to find out what it's like to be treated as colleagues by their professors, many of whom are the leading experts in their fields.
Students have the opportunity to work side-by-side with professors in deeply engaging research in the classroom, in world-class facilities and in the field, both during the academic year and in the summers through our Summer Undergraduate Research Program. Students may also pursue their own independent projects. Students regularly present with professors at conferences and have been featured as co-authors on papers in peer-reviewed journals.
Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)
The Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) enables students to conduct extended, focused research in close cooperation with a Pomona faculty member. Research projects, which receive funding from Pomona and from public and private foundations, take place both on campus and in the field across the United States and the globe. Although the natural sciences account for the largest number of projects, the humanities, social sciences and interdisciplinary disciplines are also well represented.
The strength of our program lies in its rigor, accessibility, and strong and active participation of our students and faculty on faculty-driven projects (faculty research) and student-driven projects (independent projects). Although the latter are usually carried out beyond Claremont's borders, these participants are actively mentored by Pomona College faculty.
The summer is an excellent time for students to focus on experiential learning in the laboratories and in the field for a sustained period of time. The lack of interruption from our usual college activities gives students and faculty the luxury of time and the opportunity to ponder great thoughts, plan intricate studies and disentangle the many variables that affect our scholarship/research.
SURP engages about 200 students each summer. As a culmination of of their efforts, students make a presentation of their work to the College community at the Pomona Summer Poster Conference each September and may apply for College support to present their project at a national conference.
While projects are rarely completed in the summer, they have laid the critical groundwork for continuing study. For many of our seniors, these projects often "morph" into senior theses. Research work may also result in co-authored articles in peer-reviewed journals.