Conducting or assisting with research can also strengthen your application to professional school. By participating in research, you are showing an admissions committee that you possess intellectual curiosity and motivation. Your faculty advisor or your major department is probably the best source to learn about research opportunities both on and off campus.
While your senior project will also serve as a research opportunity, it may not be conducted in time for the application process to many professional schools. Therefore, you may want to consider engaging in research in your sophomore and junior years. Some faculty conduct research over the summer. Contact your major department in Fall or Winter quarter to find out about summer research opportunities.