Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)


At Penn State we believe strongly in providing opportunities for talented undergraduate students. The Research Experience for Undergraduates in Soft Materials is designed to prepare students for graduate study, to encourage change in graduate education, and to provide a deeper understanding of the academic and professional fields the students are pursuing.

With access to Penn State's strong research background and our department's significant expertise in the field of materials, the program is specifically designed to provide an opportunity for students to perform research who would not normally have the chance to do so.

Program Details  |  Schedule   |  Research Projects  |  REU Handbook


Research in this program is organized around three themes:

  • Ion conduction in ion-containing polymers
  • Function of biomacromolecules and self-assembled biostructures
  • Thermodynamics and transport in polymer mixtures

Since the program deals with soft materials, it is very well suited to a hands-on approach to research. Students will be exposed to a variety of sophisticated analytical, fabrication (including nanoscale), and computational techniques while working in a project-centered, collaborative research environment.

Professional Development

The REU program provides students with a variety of professional development activities centered around graduate school and materials research.

Social Activities

Social activities are also offered throughout the REU program to allow students, mentors and faculty advisors to get to know one another better. These activities include team building activities, a campus tour, ice cream social, and much more!