Research, Outreach & Teaching Opportunities

The physics department encourages all majors to become involved with research before they graduate. The usual way to become associated with a research group on campus is to make arrangements directly with one of the faculty members. Descriptions of physics faculty research interests can be found on the faculty pages.

Students may also wish to consider research with faculty in the School of Applied and Engineering , or other departments in the physical sciences or engineering. Anyone interested in advice about finding a suitable research position is encouraged to consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in physics.

Research Opportunities in the Department

External Research Opportunities:

Outreach Opportunities:

Sharing your love of physics with others in the community is very rewarding.  Outreach activities are organized by the Society of Students, as well as by the Cornell Center for Materials Research and the Laboratory for Elementary Particle .

EYH:  A particularly rewarding annual outreach event is Expanding Your Horizons, a program aimed at encouraging young women to consider  studying Mathematics and Science.  The program centers around a one-day workshop for 7-9th grade girls.


Internship Opportunities:

AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellows Program

The Fellowship places senior undergraduate and graduate science, engineering and mathematics students at media sites nationwide to work as science reporters for ten weeks during the summer. Past sites include the Chicago Tribune, NPR and Scientific American. By exposing reporters and editors to the expertise of student scientists, while also training those same students in the nuances of journalism, the program can improve the quality of information that is disseminated.   More information:

Microsoft Research Internships

Internships and scholarships are available especially for students involved in computational physics.  More information:

Jet Propulsion Lab

The JPL Summer Internship Program offers 10-week, full-time, summer internship opportunities at JPL to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

Teaching Opportunities:

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Program

The Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (UTA) program is an exciting opportunity offered by the Cornell University department.  Students in the program gain valuable teaching experience by participating in weekly peer-instruction activities throughout the semester.  UTAs work with instructors and graduate teaching assistants to facilitate cooperative learning sessions (co-ops), laboratory investigations, or homework help sessions (study halls), and are therefore an important part of the course instructional team.  Teaching placements are typically made in the calculus-based introductory physics sequences (including the augmented track), as well as in select intermediate physics courses. As a UTA, you will learn not only how to be a more effective communicator, but also a more effective learner. You will help your fellow students to master introductory physics by applying research-proven, student-centered teaching techniques. UTAs earn course credit for their involvement in the program by enrolling in PHYS 4484 and PHYS 4485. Any student who has completed an introductory physics course is able to apply. Click here to learn more or apply!

Tutoring at the Learning Strategies Center

Undergraduate students who have demonstrated success in the basic Mechanics and E&M courses are hired every year to work as Tutors in the Learning Strategies Center (LSC).  The LSC provides peer-tutoring support to students in all the intro-level courses and provides each tutor with an excellent opportunity to develop their teaching ability. The twelve or so tutors are given a great deal of responsibility, often handling the office on their own— a center that is open 6 days a week during the afternoon and evening.  The job is challenging in that the tutor is often required to jump from course to course and handle multiple sets of students. Generally the tutors find the program so stimulating and enriching that they continue to remain in the program for their remaining undergraduate years. Aside from developing superior teaching skills, it’s an opportunity for an undergraduate to build their resume for graduate or medical schools, which look very favorably upon this teaching experience.

Please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies for additional opportunities.