REU Requirements for Physics Sophomores - Can I Apply Now?

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In summary: REU'S are designed around students like you. I also came from a small program and ended up getting an REU after my sophomore and junior years. Being from a small school won't (or at least shouldn't) hurt you in an REU application. You don't need a lab; your professors do some sort of research, and they're usually hired to teach at small schools because they can get undergrads involved in their research.
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cdotter
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In general, what are the course requirements for a physics REU? I've found a few that ask only for calculus I/II and physics I/II; others asking for 2 semesters of upper level physics courses; and some neglect to mention anything.

By the end of the spring semester I'll have calculus I-II, physics I-II, linear algebra, and diff eq. I complete (maybe calculus III depending on when I do the credit-by-examination.)

Should I even bother applying with so few classes? Am I better off waiting until next year when I'll have modern physics I-II, diff eq. II, electronics, and physical mechanics under my belt?
 
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  • #2
I don't remember REUs asking for specific courses when I applied. Often one of the biggest things they consider is whether you've already done research at your own school. It can be much easier to get an REU, even as a freshman or sophomore, if you've gotten a start at your own school.
 
  • #3
eri said:
I don't remember REUs asking for specific courses when I applied. Often one of the biggest things they consider is whether you've already done research at your own school. It can be much easier to get an REU, even as a freshman or sophomore, if you've gotten a start at your own school.

That's the problem: my school has a very small physics department (3 professors) with a non-existent physics laboratory. :cry:
 
  • #4
cdotter said:
That's the problem: my school has a very small physics department (3 professors) with a non-existent physics laboratory. :cry:

REU'S are designed around students like you. I also came from a small program and ended up getting an REU after my sophomore and junior years.

It will be extremely competitive either way, and a previous REU is the best thing to have on your resume for an REU!

But know that being from a small school won't (or at least shouldn't) hurt you in an REU application.
 
  • #5
You don't need a lab; your professors do some sort of research, and they're usually hired to teach at small schools because they can get undergrads involved in their research. Talk to them. Even if they can't help you, they might have connections at a nearby school or somewhere else where you can get started on research.
 

Related to REU Requirements for Physics Sophomores - Can I Apply Now?

1. What is an REU program?

An REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) program is a research opportunity funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for undergraduate students to gain hands-on research experience in their field of interest, such as physics.

2. Who is eligible for REU programs?

Physics sophomores who are currently enrolled in a bachelor's degree program and have at least a 3.0 GPA are eligible to apply for REU programs.

3. Can I apply for an REU program as a sophomore?

Yes, sophomores are eligible to apply for REU programs. REU programs typically target students in their early undergraduate years to provide them with research experience and encourage them to pursue graduate studies.

4. What are the requirements for REU programs?

The specific requirements for REU programs may vary, but generally, applicants are required to have completed at least one year of college-level physics courses, have a strong academic record, and demonstrate a genuine interest in research.

5. Can I apply for multiple REU programs?

Yes, you can apply for multiple REU programs. However, you should carefully consider your options and ensure that you have enough time and resources to complete all the applications and attend any potential interviews or research programs.

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