Undergraduate Research

Collaborating on an original research project is a graduation requirement for the physics and astronomy degree. During the spring semester the current senior class will present their research in talks during senior seminar. Physics majors are strongly encouraged to attend these talks in order to understand what is expected. Having a strong research experience is an important factor when physics graduates apply for jobs or graduate school after Macalester. It will also help in the transition from physics/astronomy student into professional physicist/astronomer.

Finding a research opportunity to fulfill the requirement is a student’s responsibility. Below follows a summary of three options that are open to you:

1. Summer research at Macalester:

Please follow the instructions at Macalester's Science and Research office website.

First, approach a physics and astronomy faculty member to express your interest, then fill out the electronic application at the Moodle Group:

Miscellaneous->Electronic Student Research Application

2. Summer research through NSF (National Science Foundation)

Sponsored REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) programs at other universities. You can find a large number of interesting programs at the NSF website.

3. Summer research through DOE (Department of Energy)

Sponsored SULI (Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships) programs at national labs. You can find participating labs and specific opportunities at the DOE website.

Note that all these opportunities come with a generous stipend/housing/travel allowance. What could be more fun, a summer of advanced physics with other undergraduates and experts in the field, and getting paid for it to boot!