Geography Undergraduate Mentors Program (GUMP)

Have you wondered how faculty do their research? Are you eager to learn more about a specific topic or issue? Would you like to work with a faculty member on a research project?

The Geography Undergraduate Mentors Program (GUMP) encourages undergraduate students to work closely with a selected faculty mentor on research.

You pick a professor who you would like to work with, meaning he/she does research that you would like to help with, and then you approach that professor. If he/she is willing, then you would complete a short application for the program. GUMP students work closely with their faculty mentor to prepare a professional presentation for a conference in the fall semester. The department covers the student’s registration fee, transportation (via a seat in the department van), and hotel cost. The goal of the program is to learn how to conduct research in geography, cultivate and expand your skills and knowledge, develop a mutually beneficial mentor-student relationship, and have a great experience doing so.


  • February or March: The GUMP application cycle is announced by email and via the department website.
  • Late April/early May: Students accepted into GUMP are notified before the end of the spring semester.
  • Summer: GUMP participants are encouraged to enroll in three independent study hours with their faculty mentor over the summer. GUMP students work with their faculty mentor to identify a suitable conference for their research presentation.
  • Early September: Conference abstracts are due.
  • October: Attend and present at the conference.

Application Process:

Students who apply to GUMP need to submit the following materials to the Undergraduate Committee, attention: Don Colley (

  • A letter of interest, articulating why the student wishes to participate, his/her interests in geography, and identifying at least one potential mentor.
  • An unofficial transcript.

Questions? Reach out to any faculty member in Geography.