Physics majors at Penn State have the opportunity to conduct independent study and research with professors, postdoctoral research staff, and graduate students. Primary areas of research interest in the department include experimental, theoretical, and computational work in condensed matter physics, particle astrophysics, elementary particle physics, gravitation physics, neuroscience, as well as atomic, molecular, and optical physics. With advanced planning, you can also participate in Penn State's COOP (Cooperative Education) program and/or in the University's Education Abroad Program. Both programs are available through the Eberly College of Science Career and International Education Office. Students who've excelled in their first two years can also enter the Schreyer Honors College, which requires an undergraduate research thesis. You also may join the very active local chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) which sponsors numerous outreach, professional, and social activities and has its own student lounge. The Physics Department also has a very successful NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, offered each summer.