Pursue Research While You Study

A goal of the BU Physics Department is to ensure that all undergraduate students have an opportunity to conduct research. Research provides the hands-on experience a student needs to supplement classroom lessons. Projects are often published or form part of a larger project. We encourage our undergraduates to become involved in research as soon as possible, and to continue through graduation. It’s a great way to enhance the formal educational experience and to prepare for either graduate school or for a professional career.

Programs Offered

The Boston University – Physics Research Opportunity (BU-PRO) Program is an REU program funded by the National Science Foundation and administered by the Physics Department. The program supports US citizens and permanent residents only. For more information, please click here.

The Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) is managed by BU. In contrast to the REU, UROP is not restricted to the summer; research can begin at any time and may continue through graduation. Generally, the timeline is planned in conjunction with a BU professor. For more information, please click here.

The Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program is funded by the National Science Foundation. A range of research projects are conducted at universities nationwide, and usually take place between June and August. The program supports US citizens and permanent residents only. For more information, please click here.

Choosing a Research Program

To choose either a UROP or a REU opportunity, first choose an area of interest and then speak with professors and advisers about research possibilities in the area. Once you have clarified your interests, you can apply via the relevant UROP and or REU website. It is also recommended that you peruse the faculty research profiles on the BU Physics website and contact professors who do research in your interest area.

Discussing research with faculty is paramount, as most REU/UROP applications submissions require two letters of recommendation, as well as the application. These conversations will educate you about professors’ research, as well as help them learn about you.

The BU Physics Undergraduate Program Administrator (Ms. Kelly Capri, kcapri@bu.edu) also keeps a running resource list of any research opportunities (as well as graduate school and career opportunities). The list includes both internal and external opportunities. You can explore the Physics Major Opportunities Resource linked here.

Things to Remember

  • Note deadlines.
  • Consider working on a volunteer basis at first.
  • Update the Physics Department on your research.

You are never far from help! Be sure to ask if you have a question. Applications often provide a contact person for questions; don’t hesitate to contact that person with program-specific questions. General questions may be directed to the Physics Department main office, in person at 590 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 255, or via phone at 617-353-2600.