Former Undergraduate Researcher at University of San Diego
almost 2 years ago
While most students the sciences majors have a research requirement (Biology, Marine Science, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, etc.), obtaining these positions is not typical of the normal process you would encounter for a job. In preparation, I would suggest scanning the bios of professors on their USD page, which will tell you 1) if they do research, and 2) their general research focuses. If their research focus is of interest to you, you should then send them an email or drop by during office hours to discuss your initial interest in their work. Note that only tenure-track (Assistant Professor), or tenured professors (i.e. no adjunct-professors) will potentially be conducting research. I would suggest sending an email, establishing a time to meet, since this conversation may extend beyond a few minutes. Be sure to ask in the email if they have any future potential openings in the lab, since most professors will actually have you start hands-on projects the subsequent semester (i.e. you inquire in Fall 2018, you will start in Spring 2019).
Be sure to ask the professor their current funding situation, if you intend to stay beyond the scope of the credit requirement for the major, and your future career intentions. They may then use that information to determine if they have a short-term project or a long-term project. Be aware, though that sufficient research on campus requires longer term commitment at the minimum of two semesters, and most likely spanning through summer.
In short: research their bio for a brief synopsis of their research to see if it matches your interests. Email them your interest and inquire whether they have any openings at all, and if so then set up a meeting.