The Office of Research & Creative Arts (ORCA)

Mission Statement

The Office of Research and Creative Arts (ORCA) believes that research and creative work is integral to the development of the student, both as a budding scholar and as an individual, and that engaging in student research is a transformational experience that is highly beneficial to students, faculty and the greater university community. We focus on the use of research and creative work as an opportunity for high-impact, active learning that provides both disciplinary and life tools, allowing students one-on-one experience with faculty mentors in their disciplines as well as real-life experience with critical thinking, intellectual independence, problem solving and creative solutions.

ORCA is committed to inclusive excellence, and strives to increase engagement from LMU’s entire student body, including first generation college students and students from underrepresented groups. The goal of ORCA is to provide opportunities for all LMU students to raise the quality and profile of their work and to disseminate their research and creative results within and beyond LMU.


ORCA supports students involved in faculty-mentored research and creative works by:

+ Providing programs throughout the academic year and summer for students to participate in faculty-mentored research and creative projects while receiving educational and financial support;
+ Facilitating research learning communities throughout the academic year to introduce undergraduates from all disciplines to research fundamentals;
+ Hosting academic workshops and presentations to strengthen research skills as well as prepare students for post-baccalaureate success;
+ Providing administrative support and resources for student research and creative works at LMU and beyond;
+ Providing a professional opportunity for undergraduates to present their research findings and creative works to a larger audience through the Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium;
+ Creating a community of student researchers and creative artists and scholars through academic and social events for students involved in ORCA programs.
  • Undergraduate Research Symposium

    The annual Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) is a chance for undergraduate students to present what they have learned through their research experiences to a larger audience. The Undergraduate Research Symposium provides an excellent opportunity for all members of the LMU community to actively engage with students who have been immersed in thought-provoking questions and challenging global issues. The symposium includes an arts showcase, poster sessions, and presentation sessions by students from all academic disciplines.

    For more information, please visit the Symposium page.

  • Independent Undergraduate Research Program

    Beginning Fall 2019, IURP replaced the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). IURP encourages students to explore and undertake independent research and creative projects during the academic year by providing an academice alternative to federal work-study positions. 

    For more information, please visit our IURP Page.

  • RAINS Research Assistant Program 

    The Rains Research Program is intended to support faculty research by providing financial support for faculty to hire a student research assistant. In addition, the program allows students to develop research experiences and close collaborations with their faculty and other members of their research group.  

    For more information, please visit our RAINS Page.

  • Research Learning Community

    The Research Learning Community introduces students to effective search strategies and research writing techniques through an eight-week learning community.

    For more information, please visit our RLC Page

  • Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)

    The Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) enhances undergraduate education by providing financial support for students wishing to engage in faculty-guided research opportunities and creative activity during the summer. SURP is a program designed to provide students with insight into the research process and provides students an academic alternative to nonacademic summer employment. 

    For more information, please visit the SURP page.