Undergraduate Research

Kevin Pitts

I get lots of questions about undergraduate research.   Some examples:

  • How do I get into undergraduate research?
  • What kind of research is going on?
  • Which classes do I need before I can do research?
  • What skills to I need?
  • How do I apply?
  • Are research opportunities off campus good?  How do I get into those?
  • What about research programs at national labs?
  • How do I contact professors to learn about their research?

In order to try to help students understand the answers to these questions, we have developed a seminar course called PHYS 199 RES “Undergraduate Research”.  It meets once per week and we have lots of guest speakers trying to answer exactly these questions.

This class is a great opportunity for students to hear about the kinds of research going on in our Department and in the field in general.  We will also help students understand the process of finding research.  Guest speakers from national labs will talk about their programs.

This spring is the first time we’re offering the course, but this is an experiment that I expect will be very successful.

The web page for the course is here

p.s.  This is not the only course we have on undergraduate research.  PHYS 496 Introduction to Physics Research and PHYS 499 Senior Thesis are both geared toward advanced students.   While PHYS 199 RES is a "survey" course, PHYS 496/499 are 3 credit hour courses that emphasize science communication, research techniques and research experiences.