Summer undergraduate physics opportunities are available in basic research, applied research, engineering, public science policy, and more. Many of these programs have common traits:
- Work alongside faculty, senior researchers, and graduate students
- 8-12 week program lengths
- $3,000-$6,000 summer stipends
- Open to students that have not yet graduated
- Social activities and field trips to other facilities
- Application due dates ranging from October through February
Most applications are online and require at least the following:
- A statement about your future plans and how the program will benefit you
- College transcript
- One or more letters of recommendation
The possible opportunities listed below are definitely NOT exhaustive. There are certainly many more programs and internships you can find by searching the internet. Also note that some of these sites may not yet be updated for the upcoming summer.
There are too many options – how do I know where to apply?
These programs look too specialized!
I’m afraid these are too competitive!
They all seem to require US citizenship!
These all seem like research positions, but I’m interested in interning at a company!
I’m waiting to hear about my first choice program, but I have an offer from another internship or summer job!
Do CSB/SJU students actually do this in the summer?
Programs, internships and other undergraduate physics opportunities
National Science Foundation (NSF):
- Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)
- Research in all areas of science and engineering
- Hundreds of locations, separate application necessary for each program
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST):
- Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)
- Research in physics, engineering, electronics, information technology, and more
- Two locations (Gaithersburg, MD and Boulder CO), with separate applications
- SURF-NIST Gaithersburg
- SURF-NIST Boulder
Department of Energy (DOE) programs:
- Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (DOE-SULI)
- Research in particle, nuclear, plasma, applied physics; also environmental science, materials science, chemistry, mathematical modeling, and science policy.
- 17 host locations at National Labs and facilities, single application site for all
- Several DOE labs have their own programs in addition (but very similar) to the DOE-SULI program.
- Department of Energy (DOE) Scholars
- Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) The ORAU page has multiple listings of internships at DOE labs and facilities, as well as other government agencies
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA):
Other programs (not part of NSF-REU, NIST, NASA, or DOE):
Industry related programs:
Programs that might have openings for non-US citizens
There are definitely more possibilities than just the list below – be sure to look at other programs as well (especially the REUs). If a website is not clear on citizenship requirements, try sending an email to the program’s contact person for clarification.
More lists worth looking through for other options: