Build Your Profile
An essential and critical part of your graduate application are excellent letters of recommendation or references from faculty or professionals in your field of interest. Depending on the type of graduate program or discipline, plan to volunteer or work with faculty or professionals in your field of interest for a minimum of 1 to 3 years. Most masters programs need 2 to 3 letters of recommendations. Doctoral programs usually require up to 3 letters of recommendation.
Below are recommendations to meet people in your field:
- go to office hours and talk to faculty/professors
- interview a graduate student in your department of interest
- volunteer in a laboratory or complete an internship
- apply for summer research programs
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CONDUCTING UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH AT SDSU AND IDENTIFYING A FACULTY MENTOR:
- Review the department web pages of interest and read faculty bios, talk to graduate student assistants OR talk to your peers who may be engaged in a scholarly project on campus
- Read faculty areas of interest
- Skim faculty abstracts, publications, books
- Make a list of your top 3-5 faculty that matches your interests
- Update your resume with relevant courses, honors/awards, leadership, service, etc.
- Contact the professor to see if he/she is currently accepting undergraduate volunteers or research assistants and to schedule a meeting
- Enroll in special study in your department if Special Study 299 or 499 is offered (1-3 units) OR volunteer
Visit the SDSU Undergraduate Research site at:
This program introduces undergraduate students to academic careers in Life Science, Physical Science, Social Science and Humanities through summer research experiences at Leadership Alliance Institutions
SDSU is dedicated to providing connections and resources for students, employers, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents to create successful internship experiences. Our goal is to help students find high-quality learning experiences that integrate academic knowledge and professional experience in a work environment.
Visit SDSU Internship Central in Career Services at:
For SDSU departmental internships visit the Career Services site at:
For additional internship opportunities, not found in your department of interest,
Professional organizations are non-profit organizations seeking to further a particular profession, the interests of the individuals involved in that profession, and the public interest. Some examples of professional organizations are; the Western Psychological Association (WPA) or the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA).
Most professional organizations offer student memberships. Some benefits for being a student member may include the following opportunities:
- Scholarship opportunities
- Presenting your work at a regional or national conference
- Access to journals in your field of study
- Lower rates for conference registration
- Opportunity to apply for summer programs, internships, research and more!