Greetings... I'm looking for opinions about whether I should apply for an REU next year. My situation is the following: I'm a physics undergrad student at a school with a fairly good physics reputation (UTexas at Austin). I'm certain that I want to pursue an academic career, and therefore plan on going into grad school when I finish here. I currently work at a lab here and am very satisfied with my job (and if all goes well, will hopefully land a publication later this year). Summarizing my questions: When it comes to grad school applications, what advantages will an REU give you over simply working with a professor at your university? Will going into an REU at a similarly ranked university really be any different? What about an REU at a really prestigious one? One advantage of staying here is that I can take a couple of (non-physics) courses over the summer and have more room for electives during the semester. I appreciate your thoughts. EDIT: I should add, I have very good grades (4.0) and could probably get two good letters of recommendation (related to research) already.