We provide a number of research opportunities for undergraduate students. Students can take PHYS 459 for credit, join one of the departmental research groups (often as a paid intern) or participate in special programs for undergraduates at Argonne and Fermilab.
PHYS 498 and 499H
All graduating seniors must take either PHYS 498 (Senior Seminar) or PHYS 499H (Senior Project). PHYS 499H is a 3-hour course for honors students in which students select a research area of interest and work with a faculty member during the semester, culminating in a presentation. PHYS 498 is a one-hour course; students also do a brief presentation on a physics topic of their choosing at the end of the semester.
Independent Research Projects
PHYS 459 allows students to conduct independent research projects. Projects may either be directly related to a faculty member's own research, or of the student's own choosing. Students interested in this course need the prior approval of a faculty member to sponsor them. The student and the professor decide on a research topic and work out an appropriate set of goals. Students cannot count both PHYS 459 and PHYS 499H towards the minimum number of hours required for the physics major.
Faculty Research Programs
Students can also become involved with faculty research programs. Faculty regularly have funds available to employ students. Interested students should ask the
Special Programs at Argonne and Fermilab
Over the past twenty
Students also have the opportunity to apply for a science and engineering research semester at the nearby Argonne National Laboratory, where they will participate in ongoing research projects with Argonne scientific staff members or NIU faculty with joint appointments at Argonne.