Qualified undergraduate and graduate students have many opportunities to engage in research and creative activity while enrolled at CSU. These opportunities allow students to enhance their education by working closely with a faculty mentor. Settings for these activities include laboratory, office, concert hall, and studio environments on campus. Some opportunities exist off campus, as well, at state and national laboratories located in and near Fort Collins. Students can identify faculty research and creative activity by contacting the Office of Undergraduate Research and Artistry at The Institute for Learning and Teaching, by searching departmental websites, the Graduate School or by contacting advisors or college and departmental offices. Students can then contact faculty who are willing to enlist undergraduates and graduates in their research and creative work. The amount of time spent in such activities varies but generally ranges from six to ten hours per week on average. Placement, time commitments, and qualifications are dependent upon an agreement between the student and faculty mentor.

More than 300 performances, exhibits, and arts events are staged each year, from an internationally-recognized poster show to student-produced theater and opera. Facilities include the Hatton and Curfman Galleries, the Music Recital Hall, and the Lory Student Center Theatre. The University Center for the Arts houses the Edna Rizley Griffin Concert Hall (listed by the Denver Post as one of the top five places for live chamber music), the University Theatre, the Studio Theatre, the Runyan Music Hall, production support facilities, recital and rehearsal halls, dance performance space and studios, classrooms, and faculty offices. The campus culture at CSU is steeped in the performing arts.

Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity Showcase (CURC) 

The achievements of students in the areas of research and creativity are recognized each spring semester during CURC. Students are invited to participate in a variety of events focused on original research, creative arts, and design, culminating in a showcase that features outstanding performers and award winners from all disciplines. Award winning projects from recent years ranged from genetic and neural studies to improvements in the apparel design process to poetry.


The Multicultural Undergraduate Research Art and Leadership Symposium (MURALS) intentionally engages students of color in a variety of disciplines in preparation for CURC (see above). 

Mentoring, presenting their work (creative writing, visual art, performing art, science, social science, humanities), networking, and learning about multicultural leadership are four main aspects of the symposium.

Slated for Spring, MURALS also provides opportunities for graduate students to work with undergraduate students and for faculty to serve as mentors.

Graduate Student Showcase

The Graduate Student Showcase (GradShow) is a one-day conference organized by the Graduate School to celebrate research, creativity and entrepreneurship. The showcase aims to encourage connection and collaboration among all graduate students at CSU.

Approximately 300 graduate students present their scholarship alongside fellow students from all eight of the colleges to more than 100 judges from across the campus. In the spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration, judging assignments are made on a random basis to give students the opportunity to hone their ability to communicate with audiences outside their own disciplines. The mingling of minds from different disciplines in this environment is specifically designed to further spark innovation and encourage collaboration.

In addition to providing an arena for interdisciplinary collaboration, the GradShow provides both presenters and non-presenters with professional development opportunities. Participants are encouraged to engage in the showcase as an opportunity to build a variety of presentation skills and to use the experience to excel at future national conferences. A variety of professional development workshops are offered to all grad students in the afternoon.

Winners receive cash prizes or scholarships from generous award sponsors in a variety of categories during the formal awards reception.