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.
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.
Aerospace and Defense
Computers and Technology
- Google - also see the BOLD summer intern program for underrepresented students in any major.
- PARC, A Xeriox 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.
- 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.
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.
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
- 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.
(Brazil) The goal of this REU in mathematics is to foster interactions between American and Brazilian students, by providing students with meaningful experiences in mathematical research. Activities will be conducted in English and no prior knowledge of Portuguese will be required. The program covers travel expenses for the trip to Brazil.
(Los Angeles, CA or Beijing, China) The Research in Industrial Projects (RIPS) Program provides an opportunity for college and university upper classmen/women to work in teams on a real-world research project proposed by a sponsor from industry or a national lab.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(Various locations) Nasa offers a variety of internships and summer programs. See the website for descriptions.
(Various locations) A ten week summer program where students are assigned to a specific research project and will make a meaningful research contribution to their research group. Each project involves hands-on nanotechnology research with state-of-the-art equipment. Each student will be working on an individual research project, with support from faculty, student mentors, and facility staff.
(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.
U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Global Change Education Program SURE (Summer Undergraduate Research Experience)
(Various locations) The program recruits primarily undergraduates in their sophomore and junior years, but outstanding freshmen and seniors are also considered. All qualified students are encouraged to apply, and minority and female students are particularly encouraged. SURE Fellows are expected to reapply for a second year of research (and out years) with their mentors when possible after successful completion of their SURE appointments.
(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.
(Flagstaff, AZ) The REU Program is an opportunity for six top undergraduates from around the country to visit NAU to work one-on-one with an actively researching departmental member. The students are on the NAU campus for 8 weeks and attend both regular lectures by NAU Department of Mathematics and Statistics faculty as well as lectures by external visitors. The culmination of the program is the presentation of student projects. The level of research involved is fairly advanced, occasionally leading to joint publications of papers in refereed journals.
(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.
Cal State University, Northridge: Preparing Undergraduates through Mentoring toward PhD's (PUMP) program
(Northridge, CA) The PUMP program offers two summer institutes, one for students who have completed two semesters of Calculus and another to help mathematics majors transition from lower to upper division courses.
(San Bernardino, CA) Students study knot theory and combinatorics at Cal State San Bernardino.
(San Jose, CA) This National Science Foundation summer program involves research in the general area of chemistry and engineering of information technology related materials in partnership with San Jose State University. Stipends are available for a 10-week summer program of research under the mentoring of a scientist at Almaden or SJSU. Included is a special seminar series, career discussions, and a concluding poster scientific meeting. Projects and the program are designed for sophomores and juniors with majors in chemistry, chemical engineering, materials science and related sciences.
(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) A 5-week intensive program for mathematically-talented undergraduate women who are completing their junior year and may be contemplating graduate study in the mathematical sciences.
(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.
(Hilo, HI) This program typically has had two available components: the 8-week Residents program modeled after a traditional REU in mathematics, and the 5-week Interns program for students perhaps not yet ready for the challenge of independent research. Both components include professional development seminars, weekly colloquia with visiting mathematicians, and presentations of research at the end-of-summer symposium.
(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.
(Bloomington, IN) During the summer, a select group of undergraduates participates in research projects with individual faculty mentors on a wide variety of topics. The National Science Foundation supports the program via a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) grant.
(Terre Haute, IN) Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents, full-time math majors, and have some background in either Analysis or Differential equations (vector analysis, real analysis, complex analysis, differential equations - see website for current projects.) All students are also expected to have some experience in using a high level mathematical package or programming language, e.g., Maple, Mathematica, Matlab, C, Pascal or Java. Female, minority and physically disabled students are encouraged to apply.
(Baton Rouge, LA) LSU has had an REU since the summer of 1993, with funding from LEQSF and NSF. The three directors: Hoffman (algebraic geometry), Perlis (number theory) and Stoltzfus (braid/knot theory) devote full time to the program during the summer ensuring that participants receive plenty of individual attention.
(Boston, MA) This 10-week program provides unique opportunities to participate in cutting-edge biomedical or photonics research.
(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.
(South Hadley, MA) The Summer Mathematics Institute at Mount Holyoke College has been engaging selected undergraduates in useful mathematical research since 1988. Topics have been drawn from number theory, algebra, algebraic geometry, analysis, mathematical physics and statistics. Frequently the topic involves the application of computational techniques to gain further insight into the problem. The Institute is supported by the National Science Foundation's Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.
(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.
(Worcester, MA) Applicants must be undergraduates (usually students about to enter their senior or junior year) who will not graduate before December 2009. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Exceptional applicants who do not satisfy these requirements will also be considered, provided the availability of additional funding from our industrial partners.
(Mt. Pleasant, MI) Students will be chosen to work with faculty members of the Mathematics Department. The topics to be studied will be in the areas of Algebra, Combinatorics, Graph Theory and Matrix Theory.
(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.
(Holland, MI) An 8-week program for students who will have the opportunity to work on projects in Algebra and Geometry.
(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.
(Minneapolis, MN) The mission of the Bioinformatics Summer Institute is to provide the highest possible quality undergraduate and graduate level education and research experiences in bioinformatics, equipping the new generation of this burgeoning professional community with the tools for a successful career in bioinformatics. Sixteen undergraduate and graduate students will participate in the Institute for ten summer weeks.
(Northfield, MN) Admission into this program is limited to female mathematics students who are currently completing their first or second year of college. Students are expected to have had Calculus and Linear Algebra.
(Lincoln, NE) This Nebraska REU in Applied Mathematicsis an eight-week summer research opportunity for ten students offered by The Department of Mathematics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln under a grant from the National Science Foundation.
(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.
(Ithaca, NY) The objectives of the program are to encourage undergraduates to pursue advanced degrees in math and sciences. It will expose the students to the atmosphere and the excitement of a major research institution and there will be weekly lectures by visiting scientists from around the world.
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.
(Potsdam, NY) Applications are sought from undergraduates interested in spending their summer participating in mathematics research projects. Topics to be explored may include group theory, Algebra, graph theory, Knot Theory.
(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.
(Clemson, SC) Topics: Computational Number Theory and Combinatorics.
(Knoxville, TN) An 8-week program for upper level mathematics majors in pure and applied mathematics. Each student will work on a research project with a mathematics researcher from the University of Tennessee or Oak Ridge National Laboratory (which is very near to Knoxville). In addition, there will be two short courses and a faculty seminar.
(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.
(Houston, TX) The underlying motivation for the Institute is the fundamental interest in attracting more underrepresented minority students into graduate work in the Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, and facilitating their transition into research work. RUSIS is a 10-week summer program. Students with a mathematical background that includes three semesters of calculus, and one semester of linear algebra or matrix analysis, should apply.
(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.
(Harrisonburg, VA) James Madison University has been chosen for a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site in mathematics. All qualified undergraduates are encouraged to apply for this eight-week program, in which students will work in groups of two under the supervision of their faculty mentor on projects in mathematics, materials science, and chemistry.
(Williamsburg, VA) Eight students will be selected on a competitive basis to participate in the program. NSF rules require that participants be citizens or permanent residents of the United States.
(Madison, WI) The Computational Biology and Biostatistics Summer Research Program (CBB), gives minority undergraduate students the opportunity to explore a career in biostatistics and bioinformatics by working closely with faculty and staff mentors.The general goal of CBB is to provide qual ified undergraduates with opportunities to: gain direct research experience in biostatistics and bioinformatics/computational biology, learn tools and skills that will promore successful admission to post-baccalaureate programs,and explore a career in biostatistics/bioinformatics/computational biology.
(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.