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Courses How many physics courses should I complete for applying for REU?

  1. Jun 25, 2007 #1
    When applying for the REU program, how many physics courses should I have completed, how high should my GPA be , and how much research experience should I have beforehand. Would assisting graduate students and/or a professor on a physics topic , such as rotating black holes or topics in nuclear physics qualify as research experience to a REU commitee. When should I apply to the REU program
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 25, 2007 #2
    only in rare instances are students accepted that have completed only two physics classes.

    your chances increase a bit (in my experience, anyway) after you have completed your sophomore year. i personally had taken five physics classes during my sophomore year.

    can't comment on the GPA.

    it seems to me that having prior research experience is beneficial, and those opportunities you listed do appear to be legitimate undergraduate research activities. i would recomment getting involved with a project you can see yourself enjoying instead of getting involved for the sake of getting involved. (i speak with hindsight, naturally!)

    applications are due usually in february and march. check schools' websites for reu application information at around november if you plan on applying the following winter/spring.

    good luck.
  4. Jun 26, 2007 #3


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    I am in an REU this summer and have to say that I am really enjoying it.(Yes, there was that one day I spent on PF because I had to wait for some glue to dry, but we won't get into that!)

    I am going into my junior year. I have about five physics classes under my belt, two of them are upper level courses(300-400 level), Statistical Mechanics and Optics. I also have a very good GPA above, 3.9 overall.

    I applied to about 12 programs and 1 accepted me. The competition is tough, but so worth it if you get in. I have got to use equipment I would not have even known about otherwise and meet people I would otherwise never had met. Plus, my REU as well as many others, offers a GRE Physics Test Prep course. This is definitely a plus!!

    My advice is to apply to as many programs as possible. There are several programs that look for younger applicants and try to keep them coming back for the next couple summers, but these are the minority. Try not to limit yourself to too small an area. If you are open to go to more places, then there are going to be more possible programs.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2007
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