I have done 5 different projects in my undergraduate course and all of them are from different areas/fields. My project work during High school is from a different area still. The reason of working in different fields is that I was trying to figure out what exactly interests me. Having found that, I am interested in doing grad school after I finish my bachelors. Does the fact that I have done all my research projects in different areas say that I'm not sure what interests me?

UPDATE:If this is sounding vague, I'll clarify. My major is chemical engineering. I've done projects on Synthesis of nanoparticles, Bionanotechnology-Tissue Engineering, Analysis of a thermodynamic cycle, Microreactors and Reaction Engineering. I intend to apply for a program in Bioengineering/Bioprocess Engineering

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    You should probably explain all this in your statement, and not leave the admissions committee to guess why you have done work in five different areas. Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 20:47
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    This is pretty vague. For example if someone applying for grad school in mathematics with say research in topology, analysis and geometry might be looked at very differently than someone who researched line dancing and early American literature. I do not think any research experience can hurt you, but I don't think people will consider it relevant to your application if it isn't somewhat relevant to the research you are applying to do.
    – PVAL
    Commented Jul 4, 2014 at 10:53

2 Answers 2


Trying out several projects in different areas does not necessarily say that you do not know what interests you. You have to show them that you are interested in several areas and that you wanted to get an insight in order to obtain a wider range of possibilities.

I think that there are few people who immediately find the right area that fully interests them. It is important that you present it that way. Working on different projects brings more extensive experience in any case. If you have then found the right area, you can deal with it more intensely.


When applying to grad school in ecology, I had research experience in stream restoration, dynamical modeling of HIV infection, and a NASA internship where I worked on bioregenerative life support. I had also done a research project in cultural geography (cosmopolitan thought in Cold War America) and completed two internships in which I had done a number of different projects. While I only got into one program (out of the three I applied to), it was one of the top programs in my field and came with the best fellowship the university could award. Now, I had good GRE scores but a so-so GPA (3.2), so I'm sure the research projects (and the variety of letters of recommendation that came with them) really helped my application. The lab I got accepted into was highly integrative, so my broad background made me a good fit.

Also, as the other commenter said, nobody really expect an undergrad to immediately know what they wanted to specialize in. I'd be concerned if they did!

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