REU if not enrolled in degree program?

In summary, it is generally not possible to do an REU without being currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program. Some REU descriptions may state this as a requirement, while others may allow exceptions. However, most REUs require applicants to be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program. Some labs, such as Fermilab and Los Alamos, may accept students who have already graduated. Another option for pre-graduates is the IMMERSE program at the University of Nebraska.
  • #1
Is it possible to do an REU without being currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program? Some REU descriptions do state this is a requirement. Others seem to expect it, but don't explicitly rule out other possibilities. Does anyone have experience with this?

I have a bachelor's degree in English and a few credits of undergrad math classes (including some upper division), taken as a non-degree-seeking student; otherwise self-taught.
Physics news on
  • #2
Rasalhague said:
Is it possible to do an REU without being currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program?

No. "An undergraduate student is a student who is enrolled in a degree program (part-time or full-time) leading to a baccalaureate or associate degree... Students who have received their bachelor's degrees and are no longer enrolled as undergraduates are generally not eligible to participate."
  • #3
I've been looking at internships and REU's quite a bit lately, and I haven't come across any. All of the ones that I've seen have clearly stated that one must be currently enrolled in a degree seeking program in an undergraduate program.
  • #4
Some of the labs might accept you. Fermilab has a program for US citizens and international applicants, and they accept students that have already gradauted.

You might also want to check out Los Alamos
  • Like
Likes MisterX
  • #5
Thanks to everyone who responded to this thread. I sent out a bunch of queries. Most did say I wouldn't be eligible. A couple said I would. Someone also suggested to me the IMMERSE program for pre-grads at Nebraska:
  • Like
Likes MisterX

1. What is an REU program?

An REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) program is a summer research opportunity for undergraduate students, typically funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). It allows students to gain hands-on research experience in their field of interest by working closely with faculty mentors and other students.

2. Can I participate in an REU program if I am not enrolled in a degree program?

Yes, most REU programs do not require students to be enrolled in a degree program. As long as you are an undergraduate student and meet the eligibility requirements of the program, you can apply and participate in an REU program.

3. What are the eligibility requirements for an REU program?

The eligibility requirements vary depending on the specific REU program, but in general, students must be enrolled as an undergraduate at an accredited institution, have a strong academic record, and have a strong interest in pursuing a career in research. Some programs may also have specific requirements related to the research field or other criteria.

4. How can I find an REU program to apply for?

The NSF maintains a list of all REU programs on their website, organized by research field and location. You can also check with your academic department or career center for any REU opportunities that they may be aware of. Additionally, attending conferences and networking with faculty and other students in your field can also lead to discovering potential REU programs.

5. Are REU programs paid?

Yes, most REU programs provide a stipend to cover living expenses during the program. The amount of the stipend may vary depending on the program and location, but it is typically enough to cover housing, food, and other basic needs. Some programs may also cover travel expenses to and from the program site.

Suggested for: REU if not enrolled in degree program?