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REU Application: Recent major change

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Hello, all!

I am a junior at a small-ish school, and I have just decided to change my major from a B.S. in physics education to a B.A. in physics. I have a strong physics background (All A's and one B+ in my physics classes, all A's in math), and I've taken all of the lower-level physics courses, as well as Modern Physics and Intermediate E&M. Next semester, I plan to take Astrophysics I, Quantum Mechanics, and Solid State Physics, as well as an introductory programming course.

My problem is that this is my last summer (or rather, winter) to apply to REU programs, and all of my research experience has been on the education side of my studies. I also will not have had much, if any, experience with different programming languages. From what I've seen, these are two things that are heavily considered when selecting applicants. Should I address these shortcomings in my cover letters, and if so, how should I go about doing that?

Thanks so much for reading!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
18,086
7,507
Thanks for the post! This is an automated courtesy bump. Sorry you aren't generating responses at the moment. Do you have any further information, come to any new conclusions or is it possible to reword the post?
 
  • #3
I'm still hoping for a response, so a quick clarification:

When I write my cover letter for the REU application, should I mention that, as an education major, I was expected to do my research in the education field, and did not have room in my schedule for programming classes? Or will this be seen as excuse-making and would be best left out?
 
  • #4
175
15
Don't dwell too much on skills you lack, but highlight the skills you have. Simply discuss the research experiences you have and why you did them and what you learned. NExt talk about what you want to do and why want to do it. Also mention what you will do to prepare.
 
  • #5
Thanks for the advice bluechic92, it's quite helpful!
 

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