Asee peer logo

The Impact of an Undergraduate Research Program on Students’ Attitudes toward and Pursuit of Graduate Studies – A Follow-up Study

Download Paper |


2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Minorities in Engineering Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


John D. Carpinelli New Jersey Institute of Technology

visit author page

Dr. John D. Carpinelli is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He has served as coordinator of activities at NJIT for the Gateway Engineering Education Coalition and as a member of the Coalition’s Governing Board. He previously chaired NJIT’s Excellence in Teaching Awards Committee and is Past Chair of the University Master Teacher Committee.

visit author page


Angelo J. Perna New Jersey Institute of Technology

visit author page

Dr. Angelo J. Perna is professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering and Director of the NJIT McNair Program A Fellow of ASEE and AICHE he is the co-author of over 100 publications and presentations. He has been the recipient of numerous awards on both a National and International level. In addition he has been recognized with the distinction of Master Teacher by NJIT.

visit author page


Linda S Hirsch New Jersey Institute of Technology

visit author page

LINDA S. HIRSCH is the Assistant Director for Research, Evaluation and Program Operations for the Center for Pre-College programs at New Jersey Institute of Technology. Dr. Hirsch has a degree in educational psychology with a specialty in Educational Statistics and Measurement from the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University. She has been involved in all aspects of educational and psychological research for over 20 years. Dr. Hirsch has extensive experience conducting longitudinal research studies and is proficient in database management, experimental design, instrument development, psychometrics and statistical programming.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Undergraduate research experiences have been shown to have a positive impact on students’ attitudes toward graduate studies, as demonstrated by results from pre- and post-research experience surveys. Results have shown that students gained confidence in their research abilities and increased their interest in continuing their education at the graduate level. However, there has been relatively little long-term follow-up with undergraduate research students to see if they actually did pursue graduate studies.

The current paper examines three cohorts of students who participated in the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program at __________ during the summers of 2010, 2011, and 2012. Students completed a ten-week research experience during the summer between their sophomore and junior years, and continued their research during their junior and senior years. Students’ responses to the attitudes toward graduate studies surveys administered before and after their respective summer research experience are compared to actual enrollments in graduate programs to determine whether the increased interest in pursuing graduate studies persisted and translated into increased graduate enrollments. Follow-up research with these students gauges the impact the McNair program has had on their careers.

Carpinelli, J. D., & Perna, A. J., & Hirsch, L. S. (2017, June), The Impact of an Undergraduate Research Program on Students’ Attitudes toward and Pursuit of Graduate Studies – A Follow-up Study Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28975

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015