Research and Honors Opportunities for Physics Students

The Physics and Engineering Department offers a wide array of research opportunities on campus at Wheaton. 

Summer Research Program

Every year, a cohort of motivated Wheaton students are named Undergraduate Research Fellows and are invited to participate in Wheaton’s Summer Research Program.

The Undergraduate Research Fellows, who receive stipends and no-cost housing, research forty hours per week for ten weeks under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The Wheaton College Summer Research Program is funded with project support from federal research agencies (the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, etc.), the Wheaton College Alumni Association and generous donors.

Learn more about Wheaton's Summer Research Program

Independent Research

Students may do research under the supervision of a faculty member for credit by enrolling in PHYS 495. Projects must be approved by the physics and engineering department.

Hourly Research Assistant

Faculty with external grant funding or similar resources regularly hire student researchers to work on a paid hourly basis during the school year. See individual faculty for possible openings.

Honors Thesis

Students with a GPA of 3.70 in the major and 3.50 overall may complete an honors thesis and receive an honors designation on their transcript upon graduation. An approved research project is a central component of the honors program. A written thesis summarizing the research project and its conclusions must be completed and defended orally to receive the honors designation. Contact the department chair for more details.

External Research Opportunities (REU)

Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) programs exist at many institutions, typically in the summer with application deadlines normally in December-February. The department provides an annual REU info night for students in the fall semester, maintains for students a collection of REU programs with links to their applications, and provides advising for students interested in applying for these opportunities.