Department of Physics and Astronomy


Research Experiences For Undergraduates:  NSF Summer 2021 Research Program

Why Participate in the REU Program?  

  • Our program provides each student with an exciting opportunity to do cutting-edge research.  Possible areas of research include astronomy/astrophysics, atomic physics, biological/Health/Medical physics, condensed matter physics, materials science, and plasma physics.   Students may work on computational, experimental or theoretical problems.  
  • Our students work directly with faculty members.  The faculty member provides background information about the area in which the student is working as well as detailed guidance about how to work on the student’s individual problem.  This regular contact with the faculty is very valuable.  Unlike other programs in which REU students rarely see the faculty and only work with a postdoctoral research associate or a graduate student, our program places a high value on the personal interactions of the REU students with the faculty.  The link below will direct you to thumbnail sketches of the research interests of our faculty.  Faculty Research Profiles  
  • The opportunity to work on the research frontier while still an undergraduate student is unique.  The work is challenging, but the rewards are tremendous.  You will be working on your own project in the field of your choice.  You will be the first person to work on this problem and your results will be of interest to the entire scientific community.  
  • There can be no greater thrill for a scientist than to discover something new.  Our students have this opportunity and many have contributed new and fundamental knowledge to the world of science.  Many of our students publish their findings in the refereed literature.  Many of them also present their research at a professional meeting.  The students have the opportunity to discuss their research with the scientists working in their area.  They also learn many new things at such meetings.  It is an exciting experience to learn that one can participate in the highest level discussions about their chosen area
  • Another benefit of such interactions is that the student gets to meet the "big shots" of their chosen scientific area.  Making contact with these people is exciting and invigorating!  Such contacts are also very useful, particularly when one is trying to decide which graduate school to attend.  
  • Undergraduate research is a very useful experience since it teaches you how to ask the right questions.  This is an enormously important skill and, like riding a bicycle, can only be learned by doing.  The regular classroom courses which every student takes provide an excellent education to understand the framework of scientific knowledge.  However, these courses teach you how to generate the right answer, they don't teach you how to ask the right question. 
  • REU participants will receive a stipend of $6000.00! 

What areas of research can you explore during the Physics & Astronomy REU program?

Click on this link to see the various areas of research and the corresponding mentors involved with the work.

How to apply to the REU Program? 

  • Must be a US Citizen.
  • Fill out and submit the application form by clicking this link.
  • Email an unofficial transcript from your home institution.
  • Have two letters of recommendation sent to our program.
  • March 31 will be the application deadline for full consideration.

The 2021-year 10 week program runs from June 01 (9 am) until August 06 (5 pm), 2021. For any questions pertaining to the REU program contact Dr. Rick Irving via email address:

Flyer for Summer REU Program

COVID-19 note:  If it is deemed unsafe to run this program in-person, it may be shifted to a virtual program over the same dates.

Last Updated: 6/27/22