Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.

Collaborative Undergraduate Research and Inquiry (CURI)

Director, 2011-12: Julie Legler (Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science), biostatistics, interdisciplinary research

Program Coordinator, 2011-12: Susan Carlson

The St. Olaf Collaborative Undergraduate Research and Inquiry (CURI) program provides opportunities for St. Olaf students of all academic disciplines to gain an in-depth understanding of a particular subject through working closely with a St. Olaf faculty member in a research setting.

CURI promotes collaborations between students and faculty during the academic year through directed undergraduate research (DUR) and during the summer, both on and off-campus. Throughout the experience, students learn about how research is performed in the discipline of their choice. The program is also a good opportunity for students to reflect and further evaluate where their skills, interests, and values best fit with their future professional endeavors.  

A student interested in applying for the CURI program must be enrolled as a St. Olaf student and be a rising sophomore, junior, or senior. There is no GPA requirement that must be met in order to apply for the program, but a student’s academic record will be considered during the selection process. 


Research opportunities can be discovered in a variety of settings; talk to faculty members about their research or current projects.  Posters hanging in the halls display recent projects and help students identify a professor’s area of study.  Besides these informal exchanges, students have several options to explore opportunities during the academic year and in the summer.

Summer research

Typically, students do not earn course credit for summer research because they are paid employees of the college.  The remuneration also includes housing on campus.  A general email announcement inviting students to apply for summer research is sent to all students early in the second semester.  This email directs students to a list of descriptions of projects for which faculty are seeking student collaborators.

Academic year 

There are several ways in which students can participate in undergraduate research during the academic year.  Each department and program has the option of offering a directed undergraduate research (DUR) for credit.  These are listed in the class and lab schedule in the Student Information System (SIS).  Students are encouraged to discuss these opportunities with associated faculty.  As a second option, each spring, students who have successfully completed Statistics 272 are invited to apply to be fellows in the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (CIR) for the following academic year.  A recently awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) grant will soon expand this program to mathematics and computer science students.   More information on the CIR is available at  The CURI website ( posts current projects for further information.