If you are graduating this year then you should have already started applying for graduate school or looking into the job market. But those of you who still have one or more fine years of schooling left can get busy too. Research experience is important in securing admission and fellowships for graduate study. There are opportunities for research during the fall, spring, and summer.
Each summer some students work with familiar professors on campus - and a select few get funded by a campus SMART grant. But many more opportunities are available off campus at larger institutes and are known as REUs - Research Experience for Undergraduates. REUs serve to educate undergraduate students across the nation and also to advertise the sponsoring university as a potential graduate school to the top-notch undergraduate who gains the lucky summer position. The University of North Texas is offering one such REU. You can read about it here to get an idea about REUs in general. REUs not only combine valuable experience with a paycheck - they often provide housing as well. There are many more opportunities so start Googling and contact your professors.