Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How to get involved in undergraduate research?

  1. Oct 11, 2011 #1
    I want to attend grad school in engineering and I hear research is a very important thing to have on the application but how can I get involved in research?

    I have emailed many professors expressing interest, but I have been unable to secure even a volunteer position for myself. :(
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 11, 2011 #2
    Your professors told you no? If your professors are filled with students, you could try other schools who may have openings. In my case, I would just apply to the local university and get that counted as credit towards my major or go to the local private universities that usually had openings in undergraduate students particularly interested in research.

    In addition to that, there are also hospitals that may accept undergraduate students in research position roles, etc...

    And if all of those other options are taken or you aren't able to do any of it now, you should talk with a professor to have him or her put you on top of their list for the next opening he or she may have, then use the free time for individual study where you present your work to your professor. Basically thinking up your own project to research on your own.
  4. Oct 11, 2011 #3
    First, you need to search the forums for topics similar to yours and read them. This is what I did for months before posting a topic, more members should do this.

    Second, what you should probably realize as an engineering major is that your professors can't really use you in a research setting for engineering if you haven't had the proper coursework. Anyway, I don't know anything about why your professors wouldn't give you a spot (other than they just may not have funding/space/work/time for you) because you haven't given any details at all, beyond the fact that you want to go to graduate school.
  5. Oct 15, 2011 #4

    That is definitely a problem for me cuz I haven't even taken calculus yet! :0
  6. Oct 15, 2011 #5


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    So you're just a freshman? If you haven't taken calculus yet, you surely haven't taken any real engineering or physics courses yet, either. You just need to wait until you get a few courses under your belt.
  7. Oct 15, 2011 #6
    What level of experience should one have then? Should basic statics/dynamics/mechanics of materials and some programming skills be enough?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook