Working with a faculty member on their research, scholarship or creative works can enrich an academic experience, forging a relationship and lifelong interest. Are you interested? Below are some tips to get started:
Think about what really engages you in class or in your readings. If one of your professors does that work, then make an appointment to meet with them or visit during their office hours to discuss working with them.
You can also look at the department website, which typically has information on each faculty member's work.
The discussion you will have with the faculty will be just that: a discussion. It is not expected that you will already have a plan of work/hypothesis you want to test, etc. Come with ideas, yes, but be open to the input from your faculty. Together, you will create a project that is mutually beneficial in terms of the learning and discovery.
It is never too early to begin thinking about working with a faculty member on their research, scholarship and creative works. Typically, if you begin thinking about it your freshman year, then by your sophomore year, you will have an idea of what you want to work on and with whom. Sophomore year is a great time to begin reaching out to faculty, so that you are in place by junior year, giving you at least two years to work with the faculty.
It is sometimes difficult to find a spot with a faculty member if you are in the first semester of your last year of being an undergraduate. You should still meet with faculty, but may have in mind a different type of experience (an independent study, shadowing, etc.).