How to Get into Research at Oxy

With options spanning many of the College’s areas of study, Oxy has research opportunities to fit almost any interest. Read on to see how you can take advantage of them.

Start thinking about what interests you and what department/type of research you would like to explore.

  • Reflect on the following questions:
    • What has most interested you in classes? 
    • Do you have a special passion outside of school or classes? 
    • What are you most curious about? 
    • What potential careers are you considering? Can you connect those interests to research? 

Attend department events at the beginning of the school year that showcase the research opportunities within the department.

  • If you aren’t aware of any events, ask a professor in your department of interest to see if that department presents some.
  • For example, the Biology Department has a research open house at the beginning of every year where you can talk with the professors and current members of the different biology research labs, and the Physics Department hosts Physics Phair each year for students interested in applying for the Summer Research Program.

Check out this research index to get an idea of what types of research are carried out at Oxy.

Note: this is not an exhaustive list of research opportunities at Oxy.

Ask a professor in your field of interest if they know about any research opportunities that might align with your interests.

They might also know about special funding opportunities within their department.

When you find a research group or professor you are interested in working with, reach out to them to see if you are a fit!

  • What to be aware of when contacting a professor: 
    • Most research groups/professors have limited capacity in terms of how many students they can take on. 
    • Some professors have prerequisites (courses, your class year, whether you’ve taken one of their courses, etc.) for joining their research. 
    • Compensation for research work varies from professor to professor. Funding is also available for independent research, department-specific research and conference travel.

Familiarize yourself with all the helpful information on the Undergraduate Research Center website.

For more tips on locating a research mentor, check out this guide from the Council on Undergraduate Research.