Newswise — Pacific University has received a multi-year grant of $200,000 from the W.M. Keck Foundation to help the university's College of Arts & Sciences establish an innovative undergraduate research program within its School of Arts & Humanities.

Engaging in undergraduate research is known to improve critical and creative thinking, as well as communication and teamwork skills. Undergraduate research at Pacific has historically been emphasized within the College of Arts & Sciences' School of Natural Sciences.

The School of Arts & Humanities will build on Pacific's undergraduate research tradition by developing and implementing a curriculum in which current courses will be redesigned to include research methodologies unique to the arts and humanities. Then Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Inquiry curriculum will feature a strong focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and opportunities for students to disseminate their scholarly work.

Implementation of URSCI curricula will provide School of Arts & Humanities students with equitable access to the benefits of undergraduate research, including deeper engagement and better preparation for the pursuit of graduate education within their fields of study.

Areas of study within Pacific's School of Arts & Humanities include art, dance, English, film & video, journalism, integrated media, music, philosophy, theatre and world languages, among others.

Based in Los Angeles, the W.M. Keck Foundation was established in 1954 by the late W.M. Keck, founder of the Superior Oil Company. Through its Undergraduate Education Program, the W.M. Keck Foundation promotes distinctive learning and research opportunities for undergraduate students in science, engineering and the liberal arts. Program priorities include development of new ways to stimulate critical thinking, a fostering of new levels of student engagement and understanding through active learning and collaboration, and incorporation of research activities into the curriculum. For more information, visit

Founded in 1849, Pacific University (Ore.) today offers a multitude of undergraduate and professional degree programs in the liberal arts, sciences, business, education, health professions and optometry.