The majority of listings in the job market today request candidates have prior experience in the industry they’re applying to in addition to a degree. Many undergraduates find themselves disillusioned as they try to secure an entry-level position with little more than a summer internship or two under their belts. Many others aspire to go on to graduate school and earn their master’s degree, but this transition can be harder than expected as master’s degree programs are very grounded in independent research and self-motivation. Given these facts, it only makes sense that you would want to explore research opportunities available to you while you’re still in your first few years of college. Doing so won’t just look great on a resume, but it will also prepare you for the rigors of a career or master’s level coursework.
Undergrad Internship Requirements
Your major will play a large role in the types of internship opportunities available to you, and each one will have its own prerequisites for applicants. The majority will usually require that students have completed at least one year of college. This is due to the fact that your first year is focused on general education credits, so you’ll want to have taken some credit hours in your major before you are able to fully take advantage of a research internship.
Sophomores and juniors are the most common applicants for research internships, though your school may be able to put you in touch with programs that would be willing to work with someone younger.
Types of Research Opportunities for Undergrads
You don’t have to be pre-med or majoring in a science field to take advantage of stellar research opportunities while earning your bachelor’s. While medical and science are the most popular type of research internships for undergraduates, there are also plenty of viable opportunities for students studying other common majors like telecommunications, digital media, computer science, history, education and more.
Research with STEM Programs
One of the most extensive databases for research opportunities for undergrads can be found at pathwaytoscience.org. Here you can look into dozens upon dozens of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs. Medical students are able to search for internships in their desired field such as neurology, epidemiology or food science & nutrition.
Science students can find chances to research everything from biology to genetics, evolution and zoology. There are also options for all sorts of engineering students and those who are studying a more general career path such as the ones mentioned earlier. Whether it’s education, history, law, psychology & sociology or something else, chances are there is a research opportunity out there for you.
Find Summer Internships for Undergrads
Visit the STEM programs page. Here you will be able to browse through dozens of research opportunities by selecting your major or desired program or even your own school from the list of participating universities. You can also browse by geography and region, so if you’re looking for a chance to explore a new place while gaining firsthand experience and valuable knowledge in your future career industry, the STEM programs are an excellent place to start.