Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate students are regularly involved in research in the department. Typically, students will approach a faculty member after having taken an introductory physics or astronomy course, or will become involved through College-wide programs. Below we explain the typical steps students take to get involved in research; however, you can take whatever path to research makes sense to you. Some P&A majors will choose to pursue a senior honors thesis; more info about senior honors theses can be found here.

Step 1

Investigate whether College-wide programs are appropriate for you. P&A regularly has students join through the WISP, EE Just, and Presidential Scholars programs. For non-Dartmouth students, there are sometimes summer REU opportunities available through ASURE

Step 2

Learn about research in the department. We have two events that will provide an opportunity to learn about research in the department: an introduction to research faculty in the fall, and a research symposium in the spring. Be on the lookout for department announcements about these. You can also browse research opportunities in P&A here, and for those interested in astronomy research you can review this primer on astronomy as a field created by the Sirius B organization.

Step 3

Contact a faculty member. Once you have an idea about with whom you would be interested in working, send them an email inquiring about undergraduate research. Examples of emails you might send and possible responses are here.

Step 4

Investigate funding opportunities. Students may receive credit for research or be paid for research through faculty grants or College-wide grants or programs. You should discuss funding with a prospective faculty mentor if this is important to you. Funding opportunities that many P&A undergraduates have received are listed here which have deadlines throughout the year.