Hearing Back from Physics REUs: My Experience

In summary, the conversation revolves around the topic of REUs (Research Experience for Undergraduates) in physics and math. The individuals discuss their experiences with applying to various programs and receiving acceptances and rejections. They also mention the methods of communication for acceptance or rejection, such as email or phone call. Some individuals have been accepted to multiple programs, while others are still waiting to hear back from some. There is also a discussion about the timing and deadlines for decisions, as well as the importance of previous research experience and recommendation letters.
  • #1
ehrenfest
2,020
1
Has anyone heard from any physics REUs?

I applied to the following schools:

UC Davis
Michigan State
U of Oklahoma
U of Washington
U of Minnesota
U of Indiana

I haven't heard from any of them and I am starting to get scared. I definitely should have applied to more.
 
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  • #2
I applied to three math REUs and I just got accepted to George Washington Uni. today. They only gave me till next week Wednesday to make my decision. I haven't heard from the other two.
 
  • #3
Does the acceptance/rejection come in a letter/e-mail/phone call?
 
  • #4
In my experience, REU programs like to accept / reject you via email.

Last year, I applied and was accepted into one REU. I was accepted via email about 1 and a half months after I applied (they were very behind schedule I hear).

This year, I applied to a long list of REUs (7 in total), including a few which you listed.
So far, I have only heard back from one. Cornell was very timely about it; on the appointed day everyone was supposed to get a response I received my rejection via email.

Many of the programs I applied to had deadlines in mid to late February and into early March, so I was not expecting to hear back from them for another couple of weeks.
 
  • #5
I applied to a good number of REU's (~10) this year. I have heard back from three.

U of Michigan
Indiana U
U of Pittsburgh

I'm planing on going to Pitt since I was at that REU last year.

Is this your first time applying to REU's ehrenfest? Are you a sophomore or a junior? Both of these factors can determine how quickly an REU gets back to you. If you are a sophomore, you may have been wait-listed, but that doesn't mean you won't get an offer. The people (usually juniors with previous REU experience) on their first-choice list may have already accepted other positions.

Don't start worrying yet. Last year Pitt was the only REU to accept me and they didn't get back to me until the end of April!

Good luck!
 
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  • #6
Thank god, I got accepted to the only REU I applied to... (materials science / engineering)
 
  • #7
ehrenfest said:
Does the acceptance/rejection come in a letter/e-mail/phone call?

They sent me an email.
 
  • #8
i got accepted by university of toledo today! too bad they expect me to accept/reject within 4 days. I've only heard from them and michigan, which rejected me. i applied to about 13 REUs, so I have a tough choice whether to accept toledo or take a chance that at least 1 of the other schools will accept me

btw, my stats weren't great: i have a 4.0 gpa, but no prior research experience and my letters of rec weren't great
 
  • #9
I finally got an offer. I'm so happy I won't end up doing manual labor this summer. :smile:
 
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  • #10
ehrenfest said:
I finally got an offer.
From which program?
 
  • #11
mrjeffy321 said:
From which program?

U of Indiana
 
  • #12
proton said:
i got accepted by university of toledo today! too bad they expect me to accept/reject within 4 days. I've only heard from them and michigan, which rejected me. i applied to about 13 REUs, so I have a tough choice whether to accept toledo or take a chance that at least 1 of the other schools will accept me

btw, my stats weren't great: i have a 4.0 gpa, but no prior research experience and my letters of rec weren't great

Man tell me about it! I was in a similar quandry. I got some REU offers this time last month, and all of them gave me one week or less to make a decision. Well that's all fine and good... except for the fact that some of the other ones I applied to don't start reviewing applications until the end of March!
 
  • #13
rodigee said:
Man tell me about it! I was in a similar quandry. I got some REU offers this time last month, and all of them gave me one week or less to make a decision. Well that's all fine and good... except for the fact that some of the other ones I applied to don't start reviewing applications until the end of March!

I think most REUs will give you the status of your application (wait-listed, already rejected, next in line, etc) early if you e-mail them and ask for it. But a month ago was probably too early even for that as you said.
 
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  • #14
I just recently heard back from Northwestern, Rejected, and am still waiting on WSU Pullman
 
  • #15
I applied to about 6, and like others here only have heard back from UMichigan. Rejection. :(
 
  • #16
rodigee said:
Man tell me about it! I was in a similar quandry. I got some REU offers this time last month, and all of them gave me one week or less to make a decision. Well that's all fine and good... except for the fact that some of the other ones I applied to don't start reviewing applications until the end of March!

I had similar problems last month as well. All of the REU's should have a standard date to send out acceptances.
 
  • #17
Bump.

Anyone hear back from anywhere?
 
  • #18
Ah, [sigh of relief]…I was accepted.

After receiving 4 rejections, I received word that I was accepted into 1 program, and I am on the short list of another program (which has been holding off sending out acceptances until its funding gets finalized). Still have received no word from a seventh, and final, program I applied to. I’ll tell you which programs once everything gets finalized.
 
  • #19
I got a rejected from Cornell for Math, and UT Knoxville has posted the students that they accepted on the website, but didn't send out rejection letters.

Still waiting from Texas A&M, LSU, BYU, GVSU.

I wasn't expecting to get into Cornell or UT Knoxville since I'm a Freshman, but I applied since there was no reason not to.
 
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  • #20
so far, I've been accepted by toledo and lehigh but rejected by michigan and purdue
 
  • #21
mrjeffy321 said:
Ah, [sigh of relief]…I was accepted.

After receiving 4 rejections, I received word that I was accepted into 1 program, and I am on the short list of another program (which has been holding off sending out acceptances until its funding gets finalized). Still have received no word from a seventh, and final, program I applied to. I’ll tell you which programs once everything gets finalized.

Congrats
 
  • #22
mrjeffy321 said:
Ah, [sigh of relief]…I was accepted.

After receiving 4 rejections, I received word that I was accepted into 1 program, and I am on the short list of another program (which has been holding off sending out acceptances until its funding gets finalized). Still have received no word from a seventh, and final, program I applied to. I’ll tell you which programs once everything gets finalized.

Congratulations! Being accepted into even one REU is something to be proud of. Enjoy the experience.
 
  • #23
Anyone heard from WSU yet? I just checked the email they sent 20-ish days ago, and realized they said notification would come through mail. The mail at my apartment (and city for that matter) is rather bad so I'm a bit concerned now.
 
  • #24
Thanks.

mgiddy911 said:
Anyone heard from WSU yet?
I have heard from them that they were trying to finalize their decisions by the end of the week (which just ended). So, in theory they should finally be making offers, or making final offers depending on how you interpret it, very soon.
 
  • #25
have fun guys,
This semester, I applied on almost 7-8 Uni and got rejected from most of them. May be coz i am a sophomore at community college and stated that i want to peruse my career in theoretical physics, along with cosmology, relativistic and quantum mechanism for which i haven't taken enough courses. Though my professors write really nice recommendation letter.

I got rejected from CalTECH (LIGO), UC Davis, UCSB, University of Washington, WSU, Kansas State Uni, Lehigh(?? i don't even know how to spell it out), and may be other ( i forget :D).
Has anybody applied to Vanderbilt university, physics REU, and got accepted?? coz that's the only hope i have, and waiting.
I am really depressed coz i am rejected from most of the uni.
 
  • #26
I just received a rejection from UCSD yesterday. I am really quite bummed about that since it was my #1 choice. So far that makes 2 rejections and 4 MIA. :(
 
  • #27
as i am really interested for the summer research and don't want to stay in my college, is there any lab, Uni, Community in california where i can help on some research for free.. or any idea for independent study? m pisssssed
 
  • #28
I still have not heard from 3 of the 6 REUs I applied to. Is this normal?
 
  • #29
I think some of the programs this year may still be waiting to here from NSF about funding.
 
  • #30
How is it ethical are even legal to "accept" hundreds of time-consuming applications for a research program that has not even been funded. Don't you think they should warn the applicants that their funding is not secure or something? I would be really annoyed if I find out I applied to an REU that is not happening this summer.
 
  • #31
Most of the sites mention that the program is dependent on funding from the NSF.
 
  • #32
ehrenfest said:
How is it ethical are even legal to "accept" hundreds of time-consuming applications for a research program that has not even been funded. Don't you think they should warn the applicants that their funding is not secure or something? I would be really annoyed if I find out I applied to an REU that is not happening this summer.

The applications are free. Also, they may not find out soon enough, so it'd be easier for them to just assume they were funded.
 
  • #33
I too have not heard back from 2 REUs yet. At this point though I am pretty much accepting it as a denial, since many of those programs start within weeks.
 
  • #34
If you haven't heard back in a timely fashion, you should ask about your status. Many REUs don't bother to send out rejections.
 

Related to Hearing Back from Physics REUs: My Experience

1. How long does it typically take to hear back from Physics REUs?

The timeline for hearing back from Physics REUs can vary, but it is usually within 4-6 weeks after the application deadline. Some programs may notify applicants earlier, while others may take longer.

2. What factors contribute to the selection process for Physics REUs?

The selection process for Physics REUs is based on a combination of factors, including academic performance, research experience, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. Some programs may also consider diversity and geographic representation in their selection process.

3. Is it common to be placed on a waitlist for Physics REUs?

Yes, it is common for applicants to be placed on a waitlist for Physics REUs. This means that the program is interested in your application, but they may not have an available spot for you at the moment. If a spot becomes available, you may be offered a spot in the program.

4. What should I do if I am not accepted into any Physics REUs?

If you are not accepted into any Physics REUs, it is important to remember that it is not a reflection of your abilities or potential as a scientist. You can still gain valuable research experience by reaching out to professors at your university or other local research institutions to inquire about opportunities. You can also apply for other summer research programs or internships in related fields.

5. Are there any tips for standing out in the application process for Physics REUs?

To stand out in the application process for Physics REUs, it is important to have a strong academic record, relevant research experience, and compelling personal statements. Additionally, reaching out to potential mentors and networking with professors in your field can also help make your application stand out. Lastly, make sure to thoroughly review and proofread your application before submitting it to ensure it is error-free and showcases your strengths as a candidate.

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