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WSU Undergraduate Education SURCA 2020

Information About SURCA: Presentation Categories

SURCA features multiple presentation categories in which students can enter and compete, depending on the focus of their mentored project. Please note that these categories are not “by college” or “by major.” The right category for your project is determined by its topic and the field you are working within.

Engineering and Physical Sciences

This category encompasses any research done in areas such as chemistry, engineering, environmental, physical sciences, geology, materials science, physics, or resource sciences.


This category is for research that studies the human condition. Research and scholarship in this category would embrace the various fields of the humanities including, but not limited to, American studies, anthropology, communication studies, cultural studies, education, English, film studies, history, art history, music history, languages, law, literature, philosophy, and religion.

Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical Biology

This category is for research in the biological sciences where the goal is to elucidate interactions within the cell and the molecular and biochemical mechanisms underlying biological processes. Projects in these areas can be from diverse fields of the biological sciences such as evolutionary biology, developmental biology, neuroscience, microbiology, genetics, and molecular plant sciences.

Social Sciences

This category is for research in the field of study concerned with “society.” Research and scholarship in this category would embrace the various branches of the social sciences including, but not limited to, anthropology, communication, criminal Justice, economics, education, geography, history, human development, international studies, law, linguistics, management, political science, psychology, sociology, teaching & learning. Topics in the area of business administration would also likely belong in this category.

Arts and Design

This category is for creative activities in arts and design and would embrace a variety of areas including, but not limited to, apparel design, textiles, architecture, art (in all its forms), creative writing, dance, film, music, performance, journalistic products, and multimedia.

Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Information Sciences

This category is for projects in pure mathematics or computational studies as well as those areas of research that deal with the collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval, or dissemination of information.

Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary Biology

This category is for research that deals with the analysis of physiology, morphology, reproduction, and behavior of organisms, the establishment of adaptations over evolutionary time, organismal interactions in the environment, and population, species, and community ecology. Biological systems studied in this category will range from viruses and bacteria to soil, plants, and animals.

Applied Sciences

This category is for research that seeks to solve a practical problem through the use of natural science. Applied science differs from fundamental science, which seeks to describe the most basic objects and forces, having less emphasis on practical applications.