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College of the Sciences

Undergraduate Research and Funding:

Providing research opportunities for all undergraduate majors is a primary of goal the Physics Department. The experience of conducting research gives students a boost in the skills needed to succeed in graduate school and the workplace. It also builds confidence and enables students to display excellence beyond the classroom.

All Physics majors are required to do research. Recent student projects have included tracking asteroids, detecting entangled photons, modeling the movement of molecular motors, studying the properties of materials at extremely low temperatures, writing computational models to study planetary aurora, and explaining weird holes in a planetary nebula.

Click here to see the research areas of faculty in the department.

Research Opportunities Off-Campus:

Students can also complete research projects during the summer at another University or Laboratory (public or private). Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) is a popular program. You can find REU opportunities here: Due dates are typically in February.

Funding for Student Research:

Central Washington University offers several modes of financial support for undergraduates who conduct research.

Program nameType of supportEligibility
Office of Undergraduate Researchequipment and travelall CWU students
College of the Sciences (COTS)equipmentall students with a major in COTS
COTS Summer Undergraduate Research Experiencesummer stipend and equipmentmost science majors; must apply junior year
McNair Programsummer stipend/travelminority or first-generation students who plan to obtain Ph.D.
STEP Bridging Programstipend and equipmentnew transfer student majoring in science, math, or engineering


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