Research Opportunities

Many UC Davis professors include one or more undergraduates in their research groups. Doing research as an undergraduate can expose you to a side of physics very different from coursework, train you in marketable skills from machining to computer programming, and provide a break from problem sets. Usually a student interested in joining a research group contacts the professor directly. The following list of faculty and brief research descriptions is meant to make this process easier. All faculty named here (as well as some who aren't) are willing to work with undergraduates. Click here for more information.

In winter 2024, the department's Graduate Student Association, GradOPS, compiled a spreadsheet of faculty willing to work with undergraduate students on research in the near term, along with prospective project details and prerequisites. See spreadsheet here

Undergraduate Summer Research Opportunities

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program at UC Davis
(Note: This program focuses on non-UCD students, but Davis undergraduates are welcome to participate as well.)

Many other institutions have summer research programs for undergraduates sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Through these programs students can work in areas not represented at UC Davis and can experience a different work environment. A strong recommendation letter from an external REU program is also a big plus in applications for graduate school and fellowships.

California Institute of Technology's Student-Faculty Programs:
The Student-Faculty Programs office at Caltech administers several undergraduate research fellowship programs, please visit the link shown above for details.

The Department of Energy Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships provide students with opportunities to participate in research at the DOE national labs.  UCD Physics major Sarah Edwards (B.S., 2021) was a participant in the program in the summer of 2021 and subsequently went on to graduate school.  Read about her experience here: