Summer REU Programs

  • #1
I have been trying to apply to summer REU (research experience for undergraduates) programs, in particular in material science and nanoscience. Last year I didn't get into any of the four I applied to. This year I applied to another six, and so far I have received one denial. I'm beginning to worry if there's something that is preventing me from being accepted into one of these REUs. I have a relatively high GPA (3.8 in math and 3.8 in physics). However, I do not have any experience with lab work. I believe my admission essays for the programs were great. I had my professors from my Physics and math classes write letters of recommendation for me. But I just don't understand why other people would get in and I don't.

Does anyone have any tips that you can share about applying to these REUs? Thanks.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
robphy
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In my opinion, you should apply to MUCH MORE than merely six programs.

There must be dozens of REU programs involving material science.
http://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu/list_result.cfm?unitid=5052

Here's a group of REUs for nanoscience
http://www.cnf.cornell.edu/cnf5_reuprogram.html
(although the deadline just passed).
[There is an interesting italicized section that says
"(Applicants can indicate a preference for a particular NNIN site; however, internships will be awarded according to faculty choice and project compatibility. Last year, 561 students applied, and 63 of the 72 interns were accepted at their first-choice site. Of those who accepted an internship, 55 colleges were represented along with 18 majors ranging from Biology to Physics. The average GPA was 3.5. We hired 3 frosh, 22 sophomores, 34 juniors and 13 first year seniors.)"]


Some advice for next year: Try to get your application in early...

However, look through
http://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu/reu_search.cfm
There still may be programs whose deadline has not arrived yet!
 
  • #3
Thanks for the advice. I actually did apply to the one at Cornell that you mentioned. But as you can see the chance of getting into that one is only about 13% (72/561). I will look through the NSF list and see if there are more places that I can apply to.
 
  • #4
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i have applied to six, all for physics, and i am yet to hear back from a single one.

which school responded, may i ask?
 
  • #5
Northwestern responded. The others I applied to said they are going to respond at the end of this month or beginning of April.
 

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