Many students believe that research is mandatory in order to apply to a health professions program. This is not true. Research is an optional experience and students should become involved if they are interested in the experience. Research can assist in evaluating your career decision. You can learn if you would prefer to pursue basic science research, clinical research, or research in any other field such as public health, public policy, anthropology, economics, etc. This experience is vital to developing problem solving skills and your ability to be innovative in addressing any issue/problem in the health care field.

There are a number of ways to get involved in research, whether it is on campus or through outside research centers/organizations.

Campus Research

For students interested in getting involved with a research lab on campus, either volunteering or for credit, there is no formal process to join a lab. Most often students must approach the principal investigator, either via e-mail or during office hours, with their interest in joining the specific research lab.

For more detailed information visit:

Also, SDSU offers a number of research opportunities to students both during and after their undergraduate careers through the Center for the Advancement of Students in Academia (CASA). (Please note that most programs within CASA focus primarily on students pursuing a PhD or MD/PhD.)


SDSU/UCSD Partnership Scholars Program

The Partnership Scholars Program offers a paid 10 week summer internship with the possibility of a year-long mentoring program. Scholars will:

  • Be awarded stipends to conduct laboratory, behavioral, or public health research with SDSU and/or UCSD faculty members.
  • Attend workshops at UCSD covering cancer biology, health disparities, ethics and professional development.
  • Have the opportunity to participate in year-round activities at SDSU in conjunction with the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) and Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) programs to improve their communication skills, build scientific networks, and enhance their ability to attain graduate-level education.

For more information please visit their website:


Outside Research Involvement

The process of getting involved in an outside research center or organization varies based on the individual research center/organization. All inquiries should be made to the research center or organization personally.

For more on summer opportunities visit AAMC