Research Designation


Does your research involve addressing a topic or a concern for someone in the community locally, across the nation, or around the world?  If so, your research could qualify for service learning designation!

What is service learning research designation?

Service learning designation tells the world that in conducting research you hoped to make a difference in the community by using your skills to address an important need.  It’s important to understand that this designation is all about the process of conducting your research, and not solely focused on the research results. 

Who can apply for service learning designation?

Any undergraduate or graduate student who is participating in credit-bearing research that includes working with a community partner.  This research may be conducted as part of an independent study project, undergraduate thesis, or graduate thesis/dissertation. 

Where do I see the designation?

The designation appears on your student transcript, under the title of the course (special topics, thesis hours, or dissertation hours) and where the research took place.

When should I apply for designation?

It is recommended to undergo the designation process at least one semester before signing up for the credit hours that will be associated with your research.  It takes time to assign the designation to your transcript. 

Important: Your request must be approved by the Service Learning Committee at least four weeks before the start of the semester in which you enroll for credit hours for your research.

How do I apply for designation?

Follow the instructions below under the section entitled "Research Registration Process."  Be sure to carefully review the “Before Applying” section to better ensure a smooth designation process!

Before Applying

  • Please review the Service Learning definitioncriteria, and matrix.  The matrix illustrates the differences among service learning, community service, and traditional internships and practicums.
  • Download the Application Instructions and review your answers with your mentor before submitting the form. Please contact Dr. Lisa Bowers with questions. 

Research Registration Process

Application Deadline: One semester before enrolling in thesis hours

Please complete the Application Form with advice from your research mentor.

The Service Learning Initiative meets the fourth Monday of each month. Confirmed applications received at least one week before that fourth Monday will be reviewed at that meeting.

Designation Timeline

The Committee reviews requests monthly between August and May.  However, you will need to consult your individual college/school for course registration deadlines as they may vary with Registrar requirements.

Further Questions?

Should you have further inquiries about designation review or service learning research registration and designation, please contact Dr. Lisa Bowers or