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College of Science & Engineering

Department of Physics & Astronomy

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Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program

As a participant in the TCU Physics & Astronomy REU program, you will: 

  • Collaborate on a research project with TCU faculty mentors, graduate students and other students
  • Learn about working in the aerospace industry through behind-the-scenes field trips
  • Develop skills in giving a research presentation
  • Participate in a one-day workshop on ethics in science
  • Receive a $5,000 stipend
  • Receive free housing on campus
  • Receive travel support to/from TCU
  • Participate in field trips, and have access to the library, computer and recreation facilities
  • Have travel expenses paid to present your results at a scientific conference after the program

Research Opportunities

  • Atomic & Molecular Physics 
  • Biophysics 
  • Chemical Physics 
  • Observational Astronomy 
  • Planetary Science 
  • Theoretical Modeling and Computer Simulation 
  • Materials Science 

FAQs

The number of well-qualified applicants is about 10 times the number that can be accepted, so the process is very competitive. It is wise to apply to a number of REU programs and hope to get accepted into one. Check out the NSF web site for information on all the REU programs: http://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu/

Successful applicants will have strong grades, good recommendations, a demonstrated willingness to work hard, and a serious interest in science and in research. You must be majoring in the physical sciences or engineering and must have completed at least one year of physics courses and the related mathematics. For most programs in the TCU REU, you should have Modern Physics or Physics 3, but the specific preparation that is helpful depends on the research area you want to work in. For example, C++ programming experience is useful if you want to work in the neuroscience simulation area, general chemistry is useful for some areas of material science research. We have accepted Freshmen into the program, but usually it is an advantage to be a junior. 

While the program is advertised nationally on the NSF website, we specifically focus our REU recruitment efforts to strongly encourage and subsequently support students from smaller programs with limited opportunities for research, students with no previous REU experience and students from underrepresented groups (women and minorities). 

Participants in the TCU program have come from colleges and Universities  such as Angelo State, Austin College, Baylor, Bowdoin, Brandeis, Centenary College LA, Grove City College, Harvey Mudd College, Hendrix College, Houston Baptist University, LeTourneau, Loyola Chicago, Mary Baldwin, Midwestern State, Monmouth, Midwestern State, New Mexico State, Oklahoma Baptist, Southern University-Baton Rouge, Southwestern University, Tarleton State, Trinity, U Michigan-Flint, U North Dakota, U Pittsburgh. 

You will need to complete an application form, send in a transcript, and ask two faculty to write recommendations. Most of the process can be done by email. We make initial appointments in mid-March.