Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Research Assistantships

There’s no better way to activate your learning from research courses than to engage in actual research projects with one of our outstanding faculty. In both rhetoric and the social sciences, the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences is a hive of exciting research activity.

There are many benefits to completing a research assistantship. You’ll learn about the subject you’re researching, the research methodology being used, and professional skills such as building relationships, participating in meetings, professional communication, and time management. Tasks may include:

  • Using the library to look for articles and books related to the topics
  • Writing summaries of past research
  • Coding data or articles
  • Preparing surveys and data for analysis

In addition to course credit, your work will gain you a relationship with a faculty member, and enhanced skills that will help you prepare for work or graduate school. The best way to get started is to have a conversation with a faculty member whose class you enjoyed. If you’d like help getting started, you can also contact your adviser or Lori Bedell.

Expectations

  1. Prospective RAs must complete the Research Assistantship Agreement Form and, upon approval, enroll in CAS 494 for 1-3 credits; the number of credit hours is dependent upon the work and time commitment agreed upon with faculty member (one credit hour is equivalent to 40 hours of work over the course of a semester).
  2. No more than three credits for 494 can be counted toward the major.
  3. Complete assigned duties in a responsible and timely fashion.
  4. Maintain and submit an activity log detailing work and hours completed each week.