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Research Opportunities

Students are strongly encouraged to pursue research opportunities with a Wheaton faculty member or at another institution. Fermilab and Argonne National Lab are within commuting distance of the College and offer student internship programs throughout the year.

Opportunities for student research at Wheaton College include the following:

Summer Research Program

Students can work full time for 10 weeks on a project with a Wheaton College faculty member during the summer. Students participating in this program receive on-campus housing and a stipend. Projects are in the areas of faculty research interests which include astrophysics, astronomy, medical physics, philosophy of science, and plasma physics. The physics department solicits applications for summer research in December. Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) programs exist at many institutions with deadlines normally in December-February.

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. See the department chair for more details. List of former honors thesis projects.

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 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.