This article is published in the October 2023 issue.

DREU Students Report Enhanced Awareness of Graduate School and Career Opportunities Post-Program Participation

By Eniola Idowu, CERP Research Associate

The CRA-WP Distributed Research Experiences for Undergraduates (DREU) program is committed to sparking interest in graduate education and research careers, particularly among underrepresented groups in computing. This program offers invaluable insights into the graduate school experience and equips participants to gain hands-on research skills.

CERP evaluated the 2022 DREU program using a pre/post methodology, where students completed surveys before (Time 1) and after they finished their program (Time 2). Respondents provided their feedback on a five-point scale, rating the degree to which they felt they knew about specific statements outlined in the figure. Data were analyzed using paired t-test samples with significance levels of (*) p < .05, which revealed significant improvements.


The evaluation’s findings highlighted several positive outcomes among DREU students. Notably, participants exhibited an increased level of knowledge and awareness in several key areas. Thisincluded a greater understanding of the graduate school process, a heightened awareness of career options within the computing field, a clearer understanding of academic roles, and an improved ability to select suitable graduate programs that aligned with their career goals. Overall, the 2022 DREU program achieved its goals by enhancing participants’ understanding of the graduate school experience and career prospects in computing, ultimately contributing to their confidence and preparedness for future academic and research pursuits.


The survey data analyzed for this infographic were collected by the Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline via 2022 Distributed Research Experiences for Undergraduates (DREU) Pre and Post Program Surveys. Respondents were given on a five-point scale from (1) Nothing to (5) A lot.

This analysis is brought to you by the CRA’s Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP). CERP provides social science research and comparative evaluation for the computing community. Subscribe to the CERP newsletter here. Check out CERP’s activities and find out how to engage on CERP’s website.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant numbers, CNS-1246649/ CNS 1840724. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.