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Mentored Research Experience Course - XXXX 3440

A university-wide course number is available for mentored undergraduate research! The variable-credit-hour, letter-graded course carries the number 3440. The Enrollment Services office created a version of the course with every program prefix (e.g. ART 3440). Departments need only activate and offer sections assigned to each faculty member as they do for Independent Study or Honors Research. This course should be the one used instead of an independent study course, if the student is not taking Honors Research or your department does not have a specifically-titled undergraduate research course.

What is XXXX 3440 Mentored Research Experience?

From the Course Catalog -

0 to 3 hours. Prerequisites: ENGL 1113 or equivalent, and permission of instructor. May be repeated; maximum credit 12 hours. For the inquisitive student to apply the scholarly processes of the discipline to a research or creative project under the mentorship of a faculty member. Student and instructor should complete an Undergraduate Research Mentoring Agreement (URMA) and file it with the Office of Undergraduate Research. Not for honors credit. (F, Sp, Su)

XXXX 3440 – Advantages


This specifically titled course offers advantages for students, faculty, and the Office of Undergraduate Research!

  • Students –
    • The course title will appear on your transcript, so graduate schools and future employers can easily see YOU did undergraduate research.
    • A ZERO-credit option means that you can enroll even if you do not need the credit hours or are banking your flat-rate tuition hours for summer school.
    • Unlike most other course options, the 3440 course does not require “a change in topic” for it to be repeated. You may earn up to 12 hours (although your program will probably not count all 12 toward your degree), but you may use the 0-credit to enroll in even more semesters. If you arrive at OU with a burning curiosity or passion and find a mentor, you could pursue this project for your entire time here!
    • You may enroll in the course even if you are getting paid.
    • It is letter-graded and it will probably count toward your major or minor electives, but you do need to confirm that recognition with your advisor.
    • Enrolling in a 3440 course makes you eligible to apply for matching travel funds from the O.U.R. to attend a conference to present your work.
    • 3440 can be repeated to develop a high-quality research project for a non-honors senior thesis.
  • Faculty –
    • As a course in Banner, your student mentoring will be imported automatically into your electronic, annual, activities-reporting profile.
    • By having your section activated in your department’s list of courses, you show students browsing the list your willingness to mentor students either by including them in your research or supporting their own ideas.
    • Because the course is letter-graded, students may have more incentive to follow-through than under previous “volunteer” models.
    • The course is adaptable so that it could be used for one student working on an independent project or a small group undertaking a project together.
    • The 3440 course could be used to pilot a research-based course before applying for your own course number.
    • The enrollment history will help build a case for rewarding faculty effort for mentoring undergraduate research. Many universities use an equation to convert student mentoring hours for some kind of credit. Until we have these data, we cannot make reasonable proposals to administration.
  • Office of Undergraduate Research (O.U.R.)
    • Currently most students engaged in research and creative projects outside of courses either volunteer with no institutional records or they enroll in XXXX 3990/4990 Independent Study. Either way, O.U.R. cannot tell from institutional records how many or which students or faculty are engaged in undergraduate research.
    • Knowing who is involved will allow us to:
      • Provide information and resources when and to whom they are most applicable
      • Build an understanding of how faculty and students are working together at OU
      • Develop institutional policies and processes to support and reward these activities, for students and faculty


Additional information

As an independent study type course, the learning outcomes, benchmark expectations, and course deliverables will vary for every student, but there needs to be some established criteria for a grade to be determined. Thus, we recommend using the APC approved Undergraduate Research Mentoring Agreement as the course syllabus.

This tool is based on the research about undergraduate research and is being used by several programs on campus to support and document student research activities. The O.U.R. encourages all faculty individually mentoring students in research-type activities to us this agreement. Some O.U.R. programs will require one for eligibility or participation. A copy of the cover sheet for the agreement should be sent to the office.

Programs decide how this Mentored Research Experience course interacts with other courses and the program degree options. If those changes rise to the level of needing program review, then that change to the program would need to be submitted to APC.

If you already have a similar course, you do not have to offer this one. However, the OUR would like to know what course number that you use for individual undergraduate research projects. If you currently use 3990 or 4990 Independent Study, please consider switching over to this course.

This page was last updated on:
Monday, July 17, 2017 - 15:46