Frequently Asked Questions
I currently attend MIT. Can I still apply?
Unfortunately not. The Summer Internship Program is funded by NSF and supports non-MIT undergraduates who will be visiting MIT for the summer.
MIT students are however, eligible for NSF REU programs at other institutions.
MIT students interested in an exciting, challenging research opportunity on campus during the summer should consider MIT's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). Approximately 80% of undergraduates participate at least once during their time at MIT.
Do I have to be a US Citizen to be eligible for the program?
Yes, this is an NSF REU supported program and you must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
What are the dates of the next session?
From June 7 - August 8, 2020
How much does it pay?
There's a $8000 stipend, plus travel expenses (up to $1000).
Will you pay for my travel?
Yes, round-trip, coach class travel expenses are paid for by the program, whether you come by plane, train or automobile. More details will be provided with the acceptance packet. The round-trip travel is from where you are (home, university) when you want to head to MIT, and then from MIT back to your home or university. If you are driving, MIT will pay for the mileage equivalent up to no more than the cost of a coach class airline ticket.
When do I find out what project I'll be working on or what projects are available?
We want students to come into the program with an open mind to the possibility of trying new things, so we don't reveal what projects are going to be available until the first week of the program. During that first week, you will hear from several faculty members about their projects and what it's like to work in their lab. You'll visit the labs you're interested in, based on those initial talks, and will talk further to the faculty about details of what they can offer you. Only then, at the end of the first week, will you be asked to decide which project you'd like to work on.
Where will I be living during the program?
You can live in on-campus housing or off-campus. Living on-campus is recommended and accommodations will be available.
Off-campus accommodations are available, but it's your responsibility to make the arrangements. Housing around the Boston/Cambridge area, particularly if you want to be within a half-hour commute of MIT, is scarce. Rents are high and availability is low. Prices vary widely depending on the number of roommates you have, location and apartment quality. Most places are unfurnished.
What will I eat?
You will be responsible for purchasing your own food for the duration of the program. "Eat out" options in Boston and Cambridge are plentiful, and there are two grocery stores within a long walk or a short bus ride from campus. Students in past years have banded together for communal cooking/meals. MIT dining facilities are limited to the Student Center on weekends.
Do I need health insurance?
Yes, interns are responsible for their own health insurance coverage during their stay at MIT. Please ask your insurance provider how this coverage works.
What will I be doing during the program?
You will be having fun and learning. Both can occur inside the lab or outside.
Outside: Boston and Cambridge are exciting and interesting places to explore, and if you have access to a car (either your own or a rental), it's easy to get to Providence, New Hampshire, Gloucester, Cape Cod, and Martha's Vineyard. There are free concerts on the Esplanade, right across from the MIT campus, on summer evenings, with the Boston Pops performing on July 4, a show culminating in a fireworks display. The Freedom Trail is a reasonable place to start, but there's plenty to do even if you're not an American Revolution history maven.
Inside: You'll start the program with a whirlwind, two-to-three-day overview of the various projects available in the program. During the tour, you'll meet all the professors who are offering positions in their labs, see their labs and equipment/instrumentation, and hear about the projects you can work on. During the remainder of that first week, you'll go back and meet with the faculty whose projects sounded interesting to you, and choose who you'll work with for the remaining weeks of the program. The idea is that you should be exposed to the broad range of research taking place in Materials Science at MIT. To help you keep an open mind, we don't make detailed descriptions of project offerings available until the lab tours are over.
OK, I'm interested. Now what?
First, you'll need to be a permanent resident or U.S. citizen, and entering your junior or senior year in Sept. 2020. Then, fill out our on-line application. Submit your transcripts and letters of recommendation by the due date to be considered. You will be notified soon after March 16, 2020 if you've been accepted into the program.
What kind of transcripts do you accept?
Official transcripts are required! We will not accept copies of transcripts or transcripts printed from your student account. Transcripts will be considered official if they have been given to you directly from your school and if they have the schools seal on them, are on the schools letterhead or say "transcript released to student". If the word "Unofficial" appears anywhere on the transcript, then it is not Official. You can upload a scanned copy of your transcript. If we require the original transcripts, we will ask for them at a later date. Make sure your entire application, including all transcripts and recommendation letters, is complete by the February 14, 2020 deadline.
When will I be notified if I've been accepted into the program?
Applicants selected to participate in the Summer Internship Program will be notified by phone or email within a few days of March 16, 2020. All others will be notified by e-mail.
How will I know if you've received all my information?
Once your application is complete, you will receive an email confirming that we've received all of your transcripts and letters of recommendation. However, you can login to the application system to check your application status at any point in time.
MIT is an equal opportunity employer. Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.