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Programs REU Selection Assistance

  1. Mar 5, 2017 #1
    Hello everyone,

    I've been lurking awhile and reading other threads about REU acceptance, and realized this would be a great place to post my question, given that I really need insight from people who have done all of this before me. I'm in an odd situation. I was accepted into two opportunities, one in the SURF program at Caltech (LIGO), and one through SULI. I'm not sure which one to choose. I am an astrophysics undergrad with research groups at my home university (large public research university). I was wondering if the folks here could provide some insight on which I should choose. I don't even know which program is more prestigious or better for my long term goals.

    I know how great Caltech is, and I've never been to California before. It would be a great addition to my grad school application, and if the decision was simply between SULI and caltech, of course I'd go there. However, not only is the SULI opportunity only two hours from my home, my SO was also accepted into the exact same program with me at the exact same location. (We have been together for two years, already living together for one.) My SO really had his eyes on the Princeton REU, and if he gets in there he will rescind the SULI offer. However, the caltech offer is only good for a few more days, and I have no idea which to choose. So, I guess my questions are: which REU looks better on a transcript? Which have people had the most enjoyable of a time at? I'm definitely more interested in the work they are doing with LIGO but the SULI internship was my second choice. Help?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2017 #2
    First of all, congratulations! Those are two excellent programs.

    My personal recommendation is to go with the SURF program, but you are the only one who can decide. I was in a somewhat similar situation - deciding between an REU at the graduate school my SO attended and a SULI internship, and I chose the latter with no regrets. You don't want to be in the situation where you forego the SURF opportunity only to have your SO end up at Princeton.

    One thing you did not mention, though - is the SULI in astrophysics or in an unrelated field?
  4. Mar 6, 2017 #3
    Thanks for your response! The SULI is involved with LIGO, so I think it's a little astrophysics but mostly physics. I also neglected to mention that I will get $800 more if I go to SULI.
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