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How many REU's should I apply to? (Sophomore Chemical Engineering)

  1. Dec 18, 2009 #1
    Hey guys,

    I'm currently a sophomore chemical engineering major and I'm looking to do an REU related to physical or organic chemistry, or chemical engineering applications. I know most people here would be math or physics or other engineering majors, but I'm just wondering if anyone who had a similar background to mine can provide some guidance.

    I have a 3.981/4.000 GPA, 4.0 in my major classes.
    Here are the relevant course I will have finished by the end of the year: organic chemistry, thermodynamics, phase equilibrium & separations, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, mass transfer, kinetics & reactor engineering, ordinary differential equations (with Fourier analysis), partial differential equations. I will basically have all courses for my curriculum completed except for the design and laboratory courses.

    I have previous research experience and am currently doing research, however, both experiences have not been incredibly involved. I worked in a theoretical physical chemistry lab one summer but I was pretty much just told to calculate some properties by inputting values into this quantum chemistry program; I didn't really understand what was going on. I'm currently doing a chemistry related research where I use NMR to analyze some samples; I have been trained to operate the NMR machines but in terms of analysis, what I do is straightforward albeit time consuming.

    So, given that I am a sophomore who has taken a lot of courses already but doesn't have incredibly extensive research experience, how many REU sites should I apply to?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2009 #2


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    I was in a similar situation when I was a sophomore - good grades and previous research experience. I applied to 10 REU programs and got 5 offers. I think it's a bit more competitive now - apply to as many as you can to get a range of options.
  4. Dec 18, 2009 #3
    I don't know how it is in ChemE, but last year I was in a similar situation. I applied to 11 programs(I think) and got into one.
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