Undergraduate Research

Health Promotion and Global Health students benefit from USC’s capacity as a premier research institution by collaborating with professors who are preeminent experts in their fields. As part of their education, Health Promotion and Global Health students work closely with faculty members and conduct research for a minimum of two (2) units during one semester. Although only two units of research (HP490) are required for the Bachelor of Science degree, many students work on research projects for multiple semesters, gaining valuable skills and experience in the process.

Performing both collaborative and independent research, our students have presented their work not only at USC’s Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium but also in national and international conferences. With the guidance and mentorship of faculty, our students have also been published in academic journals as authors or co-authors of papers by the time they graduate.

Below are just a few of the areas in which Health Promotion and Global Health students have conducted research:

  • Cancer prevention and treatment
  • Maternal and child health
  • Nutrition
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Environmental health
  • Global epidemiologic research
  • Health, emotion, and addiction
  • Substance abuse cessation and prevention

HP 490/290 Directed Research

Policies and Procedures

For all students planning to take HP-290 or HP-490, please read the following instructions carefully.


HP 490x – Directed Research (Graded course). Major requirement for Health Promotion and Global Health; 2 units minimum required for BS degree. To register for HP 490, you must have already completed or be concurrently enrolled in HP 340 (Health Behavior Statistical Methods).

HP 290x – Introduction to Research Apprenticeship (Credit/No Credit). No pre-/co-requisites. Open to all students.

Since HP-490 is required, juniors/seniors must plan out their schedules accordingly in order to meet their graduation requirements on time.

D-Clearance and Registration

Step One: You must first get ACADEMIC ADVISOR approval (whether you have taken HP 490 in previous terms or not). Send an email to your HP/GH academic advisor to confirm that you have already taken or will be concurrently enrolled in HP 340. Once your academic advisor has given you approval, s/he will send an email directly to Stephen Perry ( to let her know.

Step Two: After you receive approval from your academic advisor, you need to contact the FACULTY ADVISOR you wish to work with. The faculty advisor that you plan to work with needs to send an email directly to Stephen Perry ( confirming that s/he has approved to work with you during the semester. The email should also specify how many units of research you’re doing (2-4 units). Once Angela receives both above approvals, she will then give you D-clearance so you can register for the course through USC’s Web Registration site. (Do not contact the Faculty Advisor until after you have received approval from your academic advisor.)

If you are continuing to work on a project from a previous semester or wish to take it again with someone else, you still need to go through the same approval process for each new term.

The deadline to obtain D-clearance and register for HP 490 or HP 290 is typically the second week of each semester. Contact the HP Office for specific dates.

Units and Hours/Week Commitment

2 units = 5-6 hours per week devoted to research-related work.
3 units = 7-9 hours per week devoted to research-related work.
4 units = 10-12 hours per week devoted to research-related work.

Research Projects List

The list of research projects for the current semester is available at the HP Office in Stonier Hall 101.

If you’re not able to secure a position with one of the projects on our list, you are encouraged to contact other USC faculty in any department to see if they have research opportunities available. Any USC-affiliated faculty member with a PhD (or other doctorate degree) can serve as a research sponsor. As long as their research project is health- or science-related, it can qualify for HP 490 credit.

Contract & Syllabus

The HP 490/290 contract and syllabus are available at the Health Promotion Office in Stonier Hall 101. Contracts must be completed by the student and the faculty sponsor and submitted to the HP Office by the third week of the semester.

Liability Forms

For students traveling off-campus for their research projects (except by USC shuttle), you will need to sign a USC liability travel form which can be picked up at the HP office (STO-101). STUDENTS NEED TO SIGN THIS FORM BEFORE ANY TRAVELING IS DONE.
*If your project is at HSC (USC medical campus), the “Alternative Transportation Waiver” needs to be signed.
*If your project is anywhere else, the “Student Self Transportation Waiver” needs to be signed.
Also, if you choose to ride in another person’s vehicle, please be aware that the vehicle owner’s insurance would be primary should an accident occur (per USC Risk Management). It is preferred that students use the USC shuttle/tram service when going from campus to campus, but if they choose not to, the above forms will be required.

If you have any questions, contact:
HP Office: 213-740-1060
Stephen Perry: 213 821-1688 or