USC undergraduate students have the opportunity to work in research labs and engage in studies that address the principal challenges of neuroscience: that is, to learn about and analyze brain and behavior at multiple levels. Getting hands-on experience in a lab is a great way to fully understand how new scientific knowledge is created. Please read through the information on this page carefully to devise your own plan for how to make research experience an important part of your undergraduate training.

Our advice is to start working in a lab during your sophomore year – if not before! A first step is to define your area of interest and/or level of analysis, and then make a list of at least 3-4 faculty by studying their pages – start by going to

You will need to contact faculty members well in advance (usually 1-4 months) to see if they have space in their labs to take on a new person. Be persistent! The knowledge you gain by seeing first-hand how research is conducted is a fantastic exercise in acquiring self-taught knowledge (even though you will get a lot of help along the way). As a result of working in a lab, you may decide to engage in a career in research and teaching. USC provides fellowships for research activities.

Students can also do research for credit by taking NEUR 490. For information and instructions see the Research page or click here.

Links and Opportunities:

Here are some URLs for undergraduate research fellowships from USC:

USC Undergraduate Research (includes SOAR and SURF):

Provost’s Fellowship:


USC Office of Undergraduate Programs:

* Undergraduate Symposium – Present a poster in April describing your research
* Research Fellowships – Get paid to do research (see links above)
* And many more opportunities

Research Initiatives at USC:

*Research groups and centers

WiSE (Women in Science & Engineering)

WiSE Undergraduate Research Grants:

McNair Scholars

USC Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program

USC Rose Hills Fellowships for residents of Southern California