Undergraduate Research

The Key To Success...

Research is an excellent way to supplement your academic background, practice theory and techniques from lecture, understand about the professional roles of chemists and other scientists in academic and industrial research settings, and to map out your individual career.

Undergraduate research can be performed in virtually any field of study at Penn State. You may also elect to do research at a location away from Penn State, for example, through a cooperative learning experience (or co-op).

Criteria for obtaining research positions in different departments and programs vary. Completion of specific courses or training sessions may be required.  On the other hand, some employers (especially on campus) won't take upperclassmen - check this out beforehand! 

Obtaining a research project is an individual effort; you must initiate contact with the professor. Some departments (including BMB) employ formalized application processes.

Prepare a letter, statement of interests, resume, and transcript to have ready to distribute to professors.

Credit for research work can in many cases be applied to 400 level elective course requirements.

If you are serious about a quality research experience, you should definitely plan on supplementing semester work with research time during the summer sessions.  Funding for research summers is available from many sources, including your research mentor, the department in which you are working, the college, specific summer research fellowships, etc.

Here are some resources to help get you started...

Office of the Vice President for Research.  Yeah, we actually have one of these.

Research for Undergraduates at Penn State. A directory to a big list of people who have asked to put ads up for research-hungry undergrads.

The Science Co-op Page The first place to check for (you guessed it) science co-ops.  Also try Engineering Co-ops, AgSci Internships and EMS Co-ops.

SHC students need to write a thesis...

Take a professor to lunch - they can be great resources.


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