BYU Research Opportunities

Students in our department have a wonderful opportunity to get involved in research at any level in their education at BYU. Undergraduate General Physics, Astronomy, and Applied Physics majors are each required to do research leading to a thesis or capstone report, respectively. Teaching majors are also encouraged to participate also.

We recommend that you get involved in research as early as possible. Below we list opportunities for research with our faculty and suggestions to help you get started. Browse this page and follow the links below to find more information about the various groups. After deciding which opportunities you are most interested in, contact the faculty members listed to find out if they can accept you into the research program and to learn more about what you would be doing. We encourage you to visit with several faculty members before making your final decision.

Research Group Meeting Times

Research groups generally meet weekly during Fall and Winter semesters. These are generally open meetings where visitors are welcome. Some professors have individual research group meetings not listed below. The Physics and Astronomy Department office keeps an updated list of group meetings posted outside of N283 ESC.

Group Day Time Location
Acoustics Thursday 11 am C247 ESC
Astronomy Thursday 11 am ESC Planetarium
Atomic, Molecular, Optical Contact individual professors
Condensed Matter Thursday 3 pm N288 ESC
Plasma Thursday 10 am N309 ESC
Theoretical and Mathematical Tuesday 3 pm N209 ESC

How do I choose a research area and find an advisor to work with?

Here’s some suggestions:

  • Check out the content below!
  • Browse the department's research group pages.
  • Attend research group meetings.
  • Contact individual professors in the department and ask to meet with them to learn about their research and whether the professor has research projects available to get involved in.
  • Find out what alumni do now, who worked in a particular research area.
  • Volunteer to help assist an existing student research project.
  • Talk to students in that research area to find out what it’s like.
  • Just do it! It’s normal to feel shy but research is fun (and required).
  • The early bird gets the worm! The longer you wait in the pursuit of your degree, the less likely a professor might be to work with you on a short time scale. Remember, professors are investing time to work with you.
  • Applied Physics majors can work on research outside the department’s typical research areas. Talk to your faculty advisor to learn more.

Faculty Advisor:

Current Undergraduate students who are not working on research yet are automatically assigned to be academically advised by one of five department faculty members. To find out who your advisor is go to and after signing in you will see them listed. Your faculty advisor can answer questions you have or give you an overview of research in the department.

Next: Learn about research opportunities away from BYU.