I'm a current freshman biomedical engineering major going into my second semester, and am interested in graduate school and possibly a career in research (however, not a set decision, and could change).

One thing that bothers me is that I don't really have a specific question or focus that I would like to work on. I have contacted a variety of professors, a couple of whom responded positively to me starting out in their labs, in various BME-related fields. I am entirely not sure that their fields are ones that I would like to specialize in later on; I decided on who to contact out of broad interest alone. In the case that I later decide to focus on a somewhat different field (say in sophomore or junior year), does it matter that my first research experiences were in a separate one?

Also, would non-research based industry summer internships help my grad school application in any way? What about informal research project/competition teams on campus (eg. iGEM)?

I'm somewhat lost right now on what exactly to do.


When you're a new undergraduate, you can't make real statements about what you want to study. It's simply too soon. Saying you want to work in [field] doesn't carry much weight if you have no idea what working in [field] is actually like.

At this point, don't worry too much about what kind of research you're doing. Just do something, anything, and figure out what you like. If you end up doing research in many different fields before deciding on something, that's fine - most other people do the same.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.