Undergraduate Research

Many students complete undergraduate research while at Drexel for class credit or pay. CBE has the following options for undergraduate students to get involved with research:

Option Description How to Apply
STAR 10-week research project the summer after freshman year STAR website
ChE I399 Complete research for credit units during regular school year Find a position, submit I399 form before first week of term
ChE I498/499 Senior Thesis Non-BS/MS students complete thesis research for credit units over senior year Details here
ChE I898/799 MS Thesis BS/MS students complete thesis research for credit units over senior year Details here
Research co-op Complete research during one of 6-month co-op cycles Steinbright Center
Work-study Eligible students complete research for pay during regular school year Find a position, then have faculty sponsor agree to use student’s work-study funding

Depending on the individual student, professor, and project, any combination of these options may be the best way for a student to get involved. For any of these options, the first step to getting involved with research is to find an open position. There is no simple trick to this; students have to go talk to faculty to find research opportunities. Some tips for finding a position:

  • Know what you are looking for and why a particular faculty research group has what you need.
  • You don’t have to limit yourself to research groups in CBE.
  • Start early. For example, if you are looking for a position in summer, Week 4-6 of spring is a good time to start sending emails.
  • When you email a professor, include the following:
    • a current copy of your resume
    • your current program and class standing (e.g. Chemical Engineering sophomore),
    • your cumulative undergraduate grade point average,
    • a brief statement of why you are interested in research, why you feel that you are a good candidate for a research position, and why you are interested in this particular research group or area
  • Be persistent, but respectful. If nothing is available in the current quarter, ask about the next one. Ask if there are literature studies you could help with or graduate students you could work with. The answer may still be no if the group is completely full, but faculty respect genuine enthusiasm and willingness to work and they may be able to find something if you help them know what you are willing to do.

Many more resources can be found at the Office of Undergraduate Research.