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

In summary, a sophomore with a good GPA and 4.0 in major classes is looking to do an REU related to physical or organic chemistry, or chemical engineering applications. They have research experience and are currently doing research, but their experience has not been incredibly involved. They should apply to as many REU programs as possible to get a range of options.
  • #1
ct1220
5
0
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?
 
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  • #2
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.
 
  • #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.
 

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

1. How do I determine the number of REU's I should apply to?

The number of REU's you should apply to depends on your personal preferences and goals. Generally, it is recommended to apply to at least 5-10 REU programs to increase your chances of being accepted. However, if you have a specific research interest or limited time/resources, you may choose to apply to fewer programs.

2. Is it better to apply to a large number of REU's or a select few?

It is generally recommended to apply to a larger number of REU programs to increase your chances of being accepted. However, it is important to carefully consider your research interests and the specific requirements of each program before applying. It may be more beneficial to apply to a select few programs that align with your interests and qualifications rather than applying to a large number of programs with varying research topics.

3. Can I apply to multiple REU's within the same university?

Yes, you can apply to multiple REU programs within the same university. However, it is important to carefully review the requirements and research topics of each program as they may differ even within the same institution. Additionally, it is important to prioritize your applications and not apply to too many programs from the same university to avoid spreading yourself too thin.

4. When should I start applying to REU's?

The application deadlines for REU programs vary by institution, but it is generally recommended to start applying 6-9 months in advance. This will give you enough time to research and carefully select the programs you are interested in, gather required materials, and submit your applications on time.

5. Do I need to have previous research experience to apply for REU's?

No, previous research experience is not a requirement for applying to REU programs. Many programs are designed for students who have little to no research experience and provide training and mentorship to help students develop their research skills. However, having some research experience or coursework related to your field of interest may strengthen your application.

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