Preparing for Undergraduate Research
Undergraduates participate in the world-class cross-disciplinary research, both creative and scientific, conducted at the San Diego State University (SDSU). Since 2000, SDSU faculty and staff researchers have been awarded more than $1.5 billion in external funding. This provides an abundance of opportunities for research mentors to gain from your hard work, energy, curiosity, and fresh perspectives. Students engaged in mentored research experiences benefit both academically and through career exploration as they engage in the pursuit of knowledge. Whether your goal is to secure employment or acceptance into graduate school, engaging in undergraduate research projects provide you with critical skills and knowledge to help you stand out in the applicant pool.
To get involved in Undergraduate Research, be well prepared. The following suggestions apply to all students interested in participating in faculty mentored research experiences.
Visit Professor Office Hours
- Go to office hours regularly to ask questions about your class or your instructor's research and/or career path.
- Build relationships with faculty to learn about opportunities. If you apply for other research opportunities, scholarships/fellowships and future graduate programs, you will need strong letters of recommendation
- Read Department Websites and Faculty Bios
- Find professors who are doing research that interests you and talk to them now.
- Look at department webpages to learn about professors’ research topics.
- Email the professors or go to office hours to ask about their research and what they look for in an undergraduate research assistant.
Get Good Grades
Some faculty require students to have a minimum GPA.
Utilize the free Writing Center in Love Library.
See your Assistant Dean in your college/division to learn about academic enrichment programs and other support.