External Internship and Research Opportunities for Undergraduates
Skip down to a section:
- Semester programs away from the UA (includes study abroad opportunities)
- Summer research programs away from the UA
PathwaysToScience.org is a portal website supporting pathways to the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Particular emphasis is placed on connecting traditionally underrepresented groups with STEM programs and resources, including funding and mentoring opportunities. Use this website to search for programs in STEM, including undergraduate summer research opportunities.
STEMUndergrads.science.gov is a newer portal to help undergraduate students search for Federally-sponsored opportunities in STEM fields. You can filter by type of opportunity, including Fellowships, Scholarships, Courses or Summer Schools, Internships (research and non-research), and more. (Students will usually not want to sort through the "University/Institution-based Awards for Undergraduate Programs" listings, so we recommend that you do use the filters to help narrow your search.) Since these programs are federally sponsored, expect that they will mostly require U.S. Citizenship.
UA Career Services is the most up-to-date source for information on internships available to students. They can also help critique your resume, hone your interview skills, and more. Internships are a great way to gain work-related experience prior to graduation, earn some money, and in some cases, they have led to offers of permanent jobs for our students after they graduate.
The American Mathematical Society (AMS), Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), and American Statistical Association (ASA) all maintain listings of internship opportunities on their websites:
- AMS - The AMS website lists internships with industry and national laboratories. There are many opportunities for holding internships abroad. Mathematics majors should apply for these internships even though many do not list mathematics as an area of interest. Mathematical training, with a modicum of programming and science, is a great calling card.
- SIAM - The SIAM listings are grouped by industry field and also include opportunities at national laboratories. http://siam.org/careers/internships.php
- ASA - Many of the ASA opportunities are for graduate students, but you can still find internships for undergraduates as well. To view the current list, go to http://www.amstat.org/ASA/Education/Internships-and-Fellowships.aspx and click the internships link for the current year. This listing is updated from time to time, so you may want to delete your browser history if you check back again later.
Students who already have an internship lined up may earn credit for the experience through the College of Letters, Arts, and Science internship program.
Below is a selection of companies that offer internships for undergraduate students majoring in mathematics.
Aerospace and Defense
Computers and Technology
- Fox Networks Engineering and Operations - summer interns for 2016
- Google - also see the BOLD summer intern program for underrepresented students in any major.
- PARC, A Xerox Company
- Argonne National Laboratory: energy issues and scientific research.
- CIA: clandestine service, computer science/engineering, cyber security, information technology, etc.
- Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory: bio-security, counterterrorism, defense, energy, and science and technology.
- Los Alamos National Laboratory: energy, science, and engineering.
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA): aerospace.
- National Security Agency (NSA): national security, cryptography, data mining.
- Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD): defense systems.
- U.S. Department of State: This program offers U.S. citizen undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to participate in 10-week, unpaid internships that provide intensive educational and professional experience within the environment of America’s principle foreign affairs agency. It can be possible to earn internship credit through the U of A for an experience of this sort; talk to an advisor for more information.
- BIO5 Institute: maintains listings of biology/biomedical/life science internships
- Metron: scientific consulting.
- Mitre: cybersecurity, emerging technologies, engineering, health transformation, global networking, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.
- Philips: healthcare and electronics.
- SAIC: national security, health, energy and environment, and cybersecurity.
- The American Statistical Association maintains listings of internships and REUs; note that some of the opportunities are specifically for graduate students. Updated annually (in December).
Semester programs away from the UA
The semester programs are run each year. For details about the programs and deadlines for application, click on the links to the program websites. For additional programs, see the U of A Study Abroad and National Student Exchange websites.
Location: Argonne, IL Eligibility: 18 yrs or older; eligible to work in U.S.; cumulative GPA ≥ 2.5; health insurance. Spring or Fall Laboratory Undergraduate Programs available.
Location: Budapest, Hungary Eligibility: students normally have at least sophomore status and are in good academic standing; students are expected to have completed one semester of advanced calculus or abstract algebra.
Location: Moscow, Russia Eligibility: good academic standing; completed at least one semester of both advanced analysis and linear algebra; no language requirement (classes are taught in English).
Locations vary. Most programs are restricted based on citizenship/residency status. See website for details on specific programs.
Location: Oxford, United Kingdom Eligibility: GPA ≥ 3.0 after two years of university study
Location: University Park, PA Eligibility: students are typically juniors or seniors during the program; high level of mathematical ability and mastery of mathematical proof techniques. Background: full calculus sequence, basic linear algebra, a transition course with proofs and either advanced calculus or basic real analysis.
The Junior Program is for undergraduate women mathematics majors who want a mathematically intense semester or year among other women. (While the program is intended to take place during the junior year, second-semester sophomores and rising seniors will also be considered.)
Check the Scholarships & Internships link from the DoE website to see what's available and where (locations and eligibility restrictions vary). *Note: Some of the Contests & Competitions may also be of interest!
Location: Oxford, United Kingdom Eligibility: WISC has programs in a variety of subjects including Mathematics, Economics, Biological Sciences, etc. See program descriptions for more on expectations.
Summer programs away from the UA
Many university departments and government labs run summer research programs for undergraduate students, often under the acronym REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates). Since availability changes each year, it is best to learn about current offerings through the following listings:
- National Science Foundation (NSF) REU Site Search (only lists those REUs that are funded by the NSF)
- American Mathematical Society (AMS) REU Site Search
- MathPrograms.Org (keep in mind that this site lists programs at all levels; try a CTRL-F search for "REU" or "undergrad" to find programs for undergraduates)
- Google search “REU math” (may help you locate additional REU programs in mathematics)
Application deadlines are frequently flexible; therefore, if you are interested in applying for a program for which the deadline has passed, contact the program anyway. It is possible that they still have openings and would consider your application.
Dr. Velez has compiled a brief list of some of this year's REU programs that may have fewer prerequisites than most, or that may be open to specific populations (future teachers, international students, etc.).
Select summer programs
To get a flavor of what might be available, information on select programs appears below.
(Various locations) The Amgen Scholars U.S. Program provides hundreds of selected undergraduate students with the opportunity to engage in a hands-on research experience at some of the nation’s leading educational institutions. Currently, 10 universities in the U.S. host the summer research program. Research areas include Statistics, and many of the life sciences (applicants will be interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or M.D.-Ph.D.). Note that the European program is currently only open to students from European univerisities.
(Bryn Mawr, PA or Atlanta, GA) Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education is a program funded by the National Security Agency and is designed to strengthen the ability of women and minority students to successfully complete graduate programs in the mathematical sciences. Applicants to the program should be women who are
- graduating seniors who have applied to graduate programs in the mathematical sciences,
- recent recipients of undergraduate degrees who are now entering graduate programs, or
- first-year graduate students.
(Piscataway, NJ and Prague, Czech Republic) DIMACS, with National Science Foundation sponsorship, has offered an REU program since 1992. There are four associated REU programs:
- The DIMACS REU program offers projects mentored by DIMACS members.
- The DIMACS/DIMATIA REU program offers projects mentored by DIMACS members, the program is extended by two weeks, and the last two and a half weeks of the program are spent at our sister site DIMATIA at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. Students selected to participate in this program generally exhibit strong interests in combinatorics.
- The Rutgers Math Department program offers projects mentored by members of the Rutgers Mathematics Department.
- The DyDAn REU program offers projects related to homeland security mentored by DyDAn researchers.
(Los Angeles, CA, or Hong Kong) RIPS is a program for students who are enrolled in or have just completed an undergraduate (bachelors) degree. Students with a strong background in mathematics and an interest in seeing how mathematics is used in the real world are encouraged to apply. RIPS is not exactly an REU - the projects come from industry rather than academia, so it is essentially a cross between an REU and an internship. RIPS students do not have regular interaction with the faculty or students of the math department, except for the academic mentors. There are no classes during RIPS; the focus is entirely on the research projects, and ultimately presenting the results. Most of the projects have a significant computational component, so that proficiency (or at least some experience) in computer science, data analysis or numerical computation is valuable, but not necessary for everyone.
(Various locations) NASA offers a variety of internships and summer programs. See the website for descriptions.
(Various locations) The Environmental Education Outreach Program offers a Summer Student Internship Program as well as two Short Internship Programs. Students gain hands-on experience with EPA or other government and tribal offices with regards to environmental issues.
(Auburn, AL) Eight weeks of research experience in the areas of algebra and discrete mathematics. Intensive introduction to a selection of open problems and problem areas, followed by daily seminars and problem sessions.
(Tempe, AZ) This intensive REU prepares promising young scientists interested in working at the interface of mathematics, statistics, and the natural and social sciences for the rigors of graduate studies.
(San Bernardino, CA) Students study knot theory and combinatorics at Cal State San Bernardino.
(Santa Barbara, CA) Science and engineering students acquire research experience in a variety of exciting fields through these internships.
(Stanford, CA) An 8-week program for undergraduate students traditionally under-represented in science careers (minorities, women, economically disadvantaged, and students from rural areas without access to major research facilities). Provides hands-on research experiences in a national laboratory setting.
(Boulder, CO) The SMART program is intended for undergraduate students who are interested in preparing for graduate degrees in science, math and engineering. SMART offers students the opportunity to conduct research under the guidance of a faculty mentor, and participate in workshops designed to strengthen scientific writing and oral presentation skills.
(Washington, DC) 12-week Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program providing hands-on research experience in Atomic, Molecular, Optical, Radiation and Chemical Physics. Past research opportunities have included: Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy Laser Cooling and Trapping Collisions of Atoms and Molecules Atoms and Molecules on Surfaces Quantum Optics QED Effects on Atomic Structure Optical/Infrared Detector Development UV Optics Optical Tweezers Industrial Radiation Dosimetry Physics of Radiation Therapy Environmental Radioactivity -- and many others.
(Aachen, Germany) The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) offered through the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH-Aachen) is designed to give students hands-on experience with a research team in fundamental engineering projects at one of the top universities of science and technology worldwide. The program consists of two weeks of intensive language training and eight weeks of work on the assigned project. Scholarships and local excursions are offered.
(Ames, IA) Participants spend eight weeks working on research projects as part of active research groups at ISU. The projects are in a variety of mathematical areas, representing the diverse research interests of the ISU Mathematics Department, such as mathematical biology, linear algebra, dynamical systems, numerical analysis, and graph theory, all utilizing computational methods.
(Valparaiso, IN) The Valparaiso Experience in Research by Undergraduate Mathematicians (VERUM) provides an opportunity for rising college sophomores and juniors to engage in their first research experience in mathematics. Topics include Enumerative combinatorics, Graphs and networks, Mathematical biology, Statistics.
(Boston, MA) The HSPH Summer Program in Quantitative Sciences is a short introduction to biostatistics, epidemiology and public health research in June. It is designed as an intensive course to expose undergraduates to quantitative methods applied in biological, environmental and medical research and prepare them to apply to graduate school. Students collaborate on a research project with the direction of HSPH faculty and graduate students.
(Lexington, MA) MIT Lincoln Laboratory applies advanced technology to problems critical to national security. Behind the Laboratory's solutions are researchers with excellent technical abilities and imagination working in cross-disciplinary collaborations to develop systems from the initial concept stage, through simulation and analysis, to design and prototyping, and finally to real-world demonstrations. Since 1975, Lincoln Laboratory has offered undergraduate and graduate students the unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a leading-edge research environment.
(Williamstown, MA) The SMALL Project is a 9-week summer program in which undergraduates investigate open research problems in Mathematics. Students work in small groups directed by individual faculty members.
(College Park, MD) Combinatorics and Algorithms for Real Problems (CAAR) is a 10 week NSF funded research program designed to bridge the disconnect between the theory (algorithms, probability, combinatorics) and other disciplines within Computer Science (AI, Operations Research, others.)
(Allendale, MI) The Department of Mathematics at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) near Grand Rapids, MI, invites eight students to participate in their REU program each summer. GVSU typically receives over 100 applications, so selection is competitive.
(Duluth, MN) This is a ten-week undergraduate research program in mathematics at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Graph theory, combinatorics and number theory provide the source of most of the problems. Weekly field trips are part of the program.
(Princeton, NJ) The Office of Academic Affairs and Diversity offers an eight-week summer research experience for up to 20 undergraduates who express a serious interest in pursuing a Ph.D. and following a career in college or university teaching and research. The purpose of the program is to motivate and prepare students to make competitive applications to research doctoral programs, with a view toward completing the Ph.D. and going on to teach and conduct original research. PSURE is open to all qualified applicants. Undergraduates who are racial/ethnic minorities, who are from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, or who are from small liberal arts colleges are especially encouraged to apply.
(Albuquerque, NM) The NanoScience and MicroSystems REU held at the University of New Mexico is a 10-week summer research internship program for undergraduate students studying chemistry, chemical engineering, materials science, and physics.
(Santa Fe, NM) This program is highly individualized. Each student works with one or more faculty mentors on a self-selected project forcusing on some aspect of the computational properties of complex systems. Participants are expected to conduct research at the Santa Fe Institute for approx. 10 weeks, within a mid-May to mid-August window. Funded by the National Science Foundation, this program is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only. Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply.
Columbia University Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
(Palisades, NY) 9-week summer internship program for undergraduates in science, math, or engineering who have completed their sophomore or junior year. The program offers the opportunity to experience scientific research as an undergraduate.
(Kent, OH) The Department of Mathematical Sciences at Kent State University will run an NSF-funded REU program where students will work on projects arising naturally in our faculty's research. The emphasis of the program is on independent work under close supervision of the project advisor.
(Oxford, OH) SUMSRI is seeking talented undergraduate mathematics students who are interested in pursuing advanced degrees to participate in a 7-week research experience. Because of the shortage of minorities and women mathematical scientists, we are especially interested in, but not limited to, African Americans and other underrepresented minorities and women.
(Corvallis, OR) This program will support 10 undergraduate students and will run for eight weeks. This site contains links to a more detailed description of the program, descriptions of potential projects, and instructions on applying either on line or via a printed application.
(Corvallis, OR) Oregon State University is a leading public research university located in the beautiful Willamette Valley. The Department of Statistics will provide REU students with exposure to the entire data analysis process as it relates to biological research. This is a paid research and training opportunity. Students will analyze DNA sequence data and use statistical methods to determine how the types of bacteria that live in the gut, known as the gut microbiome, associate with health. Ultimately, this project will prepare students to capitalize on the growing professional opportunities in data analytics.
(Easton, PA) Lafayette's REU program is an intensive eight-week summer research experience, with an additional week spent preparing for and participating in a national conference. Through close mentorship from their faculty advisors, small student research groups will investigate open problems in mathematics and statistics and share their work in the form of articles, posters, and presentations.
(Clemson, SC) REU in Combinatorics, Computational Algebraic Geometry, and Number Theory.
(Knoxville, TN) The Summer Research Experiences (SRE) at NIMBioS provides undergrads in math, biology and related fields the opportunity to conduct research in teams with UT professors, NIMBioS researchers, and collaborators on projects at the interface of math and biology. During this eight-week summer program, participants live on the UT-Knoxville campus and work in collaborative teams on a variety of biological research projects using mathematical methods.
(College Station, TX) The Department of Mathematics at Texas A&M intends to host an eight-week Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents. Participating students will be provided free on-campus housing, a meal allowance, subsidized travel (to and from College Station), and an additional weekly stipend.
(Houston, TX) The LPI invites undergraduates to experience cutting-edge research in the planetary sciences through the Summer Intern Program. As a summer intern you would complete a research project of current interest in planetary science, working one-on-one with a scientist at the LPI or at Johnson Space Center. The LPI is located near Johnson Space Center, on the south side of Houston, TX. The LPI provides, on NASA leadership in the scientific community for research in lunar, planetary, and solar system sciences, and linkage with related terrestrial programs.
(Park City, UT) The Undergraduate Summer School provides opportunities for talented undergraduate students to enhance their interest in mathematics. This program is open to undergraduates at all levels, from first-year students to those who have just completed their undergraduate education. There will be many organized activities, with some specifically targeted at students at the introductory level and others at more advanced students. There will also be time for study groups and individual projects guided by advisors, as well as other activities.
Minority Academic Opportunities Program (MAOP) at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
(Blacksburg, VA) Minority students will interact with student researchers, faculty and graduate students in different areas of study, use state-of-the-art equipment, and attend seminars on the nature of graduate academic life. Students will also prepare to take the GRE, and receive counseling on gaining admission to graduate school and available funding opportunities.
(Madison, WI) The Summer Institute for Training in Biostatistics (SIBS) gives undergraduate students majoring in the quantitative sciences the opportunity to explore a career in biostatistics and bioinformatics emphasizing applications in both basic and clinical research. Learn how to develop new methods for experimental design and analyze the resulting data. Over a 6-week summer school session participants will be engaged in two 3-credit courses for a total of 6 credits that can transfer back to participants' undergraduate institutions.