"URS has strengthened my commitment to do more research and pursue grad school."
-Lauren Hoffarth, Former Fellow

Prospective Scholars

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Benefits of Becoming a URS Scholar

  • The opportunity to work directly with principal investigators and renowned researchers and faculty early in your college experience
  • Gain references for letters of recommendation and support in post-baccalaureate endeavors
  • Make connections and build the potential to continue in research for your entire undergraduate career
  • Learn about scholarships, internships, and professional development opportunities

Eligibility Requirements

  • URS is a year-long experience. Availability for 4-6 hours of research per week and a weekly seminar during both fall and spring semesters is a requirement 
  • Must be available from 5:30pm-6:30pm on Wednesdays (see  below for Inter-LS 250 information)
  • Must be a 1st- or 2nd- year student or transfer students beginning their first year at UW
  • We invite students from underrepresented groups to apply
  • No research/creative practice experience needed

What will you do as a Scholar?

  • Engage in a year-long (fall & spring semester) research or creative practice project under the mentorship of a member of UW-Madison’s faculty, and/or staff.
  • Participate in weekly small-group seminars every Wednesday 5:30-6:30pm where you will discuss the implications of research and creative practice in the world. (See more details under the “Seminars” panel).
  • Earn credit for your work on your project and in seminar.
  • Receive peer-mentorship from upper-level undergraduate students with research and/or artistic experience.
  • Build community with other first- and second- year students across different disciplines, majors, and research/artistic interests.
  • Present your work at the end of the year at the UW-Madison Undergraduate Symposium.

How to Apply

The URS Scholar application for 2023-2024 is now closed. The application for 2024-2025 will open in spring, 2024.

Find the application here on the Apply to be a URS Scholar page.

Enrollment & Credits

If admitted, students receive a detailed message with information on the Inter-LS 250 course including enrollment and credit information.

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Credit Hours

The Inter L&S 250 course permits registration for 1-3 credits. The number of credits a Scholar registers for depends on how many hours per week the student will devote to the assigned research or creative project.

Working 1-3 hours per week earns 1 credits per semester.

Working 4-6 hours per week earns 2 credits per semester. Admitted students are asked to enroll for 2 credits and the majority of students will remain at 2 credits for the year.

Working 7-10 hours per week earns 3 credits per semester. Some projects will require this many hours worked.

URS staff provides support to students in making necessary credit changes during the semester.

Registering for Inter L&S 250

Once admitted to the program, you will receive an email with the five digit course number. If you were admitted but did not receive the 5 digit course number please contact us right away.

Go to the your MyUW, then go directly to the “course enrollment” tab and in the “enter class number” add the five digit number you have been given. Add your seminar to the cart. Select 2 credits. Continue hitting “next” until enrolled. Note that you will not be able to “search” for Inter L&S open sections.

Inter L&S is a variable number credit course. You should register for 2 credits initially. Final number credits will depend on the research or creative practice opportunity you join.


The credit load of URS is split into two parts: a Scholar’s research or creative practice placement, and the weekly seminar.

Seminars are small groups (15-18) of URS Scholars from different disciplines and research/creative practice placements. They are classes facilitated by upper-level peer mentors with experience in research and/or creative practice. All seminars are held on Wednesdays 5:30-6:30pm during both fall and spring semester of your participatory year.

This course explores interdisciplinary perspectives in Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, and Humanities & Arts research, as well as creative practice. In seminar, Scholars consider the different dimensions of research and creative practices including the relationship between research/creative practice and current events, and how research in different disciplines intersect.

Seminars are an essential part of the URS experience and something that sets the program apart from other paths to research at UW. When deciding to apply, we encourage prospective Scholars to consider both their commitment to a research or creative practice endeavor, as well as the weekly seminar.

Learn more about the URS Scholar experience by viewing this URS Scholar video, produced in spring 2021. The video features five Undergraduate Research Scholars representing a variety of research and creative practice placements.


Current Scholars page click here.