REU Application

Application form for our Summer 2024 REU program can be found here - APPLY HERE!


REU applicants can attend a Zoom information session about the program where you can have your questions about the application answered - currently 5 such sessions are planned for Sundays January 7 (10 am Pacific Time), January 14 (2 pm Pacific Time), January 21 (10 am Pacific Time), January 28 (2 pm Pacific Time) and February 4 (10 am Pacific Time) - if you are interested in attending any of these sessions, please email the REU site Director Professor Guruswamy at for the Zoom link.


REU Application Required Documents

Your completed REU application packet should include:

  • Completed REU application form
  • Personal Statement  The personal statement file (preferably in PDF) should be sent directly to with the subject line "[Student's Full Name] Personal Statement". The filename of your personal statement file should contain your full name and file type - for example, "lastname-firstname-personal-statement.pdf".
  • Unofficial Transcript The transcript should be sent directly to with the subject line “[Student’s Full Name] Unofficial Transcript”. If you have more than 1 college transcript, send transcripts from all colleges you have attended (preferably as a single PDF file). The filename of your transcript file should contain your full name and file type - that is, name your file as "lastname-firstname-transcript.pdf".
  • At least two letters of recommendation, preferably from Physics, and/or Math/Science faculty at your institution. The letters should contain contact information for the faculty and be on college/university letterhead. Your recommenders may email their letters to with the subject line “NSF-REU Letter of Recommendation for [Student’s Full Name]“. Please note that the email with the confidential letters of recommendation must come directly from your recommenders (not from the applicant).

Preparation Before You Apply

  • Check the eligibility requirements on the REU main page to see if you are eligible to apply
  • Preview the application form to make sure to gather all the information you need to complete the application.
  • Get your unofficial Transcript ready.
  • Review the Research Projects page and prepare your top 4 choices of research projects.
  • Prepare the answers to the questions on the application form.
  • Request two faculty members at your academic institution who know you and your academic work for letters of recommendation in support of your application. Once they agree to provide letters of recommendation, confirm with them their email address as you will need to provide their full names and email addresses in your REU application form. Don’t forget to provide them the email address where they can submit letters to our program on your behalf.
  • Prepare your personal statement (essay) describing: (1) Your future goals and what you hope to gain from our REU program (2) Your relevant background: your academic experience, skills, interests, previous research experience (if any). You may also include in the essay any challenges (academic or otherwise) that you faced and how you persevered through them. There is no word limit for the essay, however, typical essays range 300-500 words.


  • All applications completed on or before February 11, 2024 will be reviewed before any offers are made. It is your responsibility to ensure the letters have been submitted by the deadline. Allow your recommenders enough time to submit their letters and check with them to make sure they have submitted the letter.
  • We plan to start making offers in late February. Applications will continue to be reviewed on a rolling basis until all positions are filled.
  • We plan to send decline letters to students with completed applications sometime in April.
  • A one-week deadline is typically given to accept or reject our offer. The Physics REU site directors will utilize a common deadline of March 8, 2024, for students to accept or decline first round offers at domestic REU sites. Sites may send offers to students at any time before this, but students will not be required to make a decision before March 8, 2024.

Once all offers are made and accepted, the faculty research mentor for your specific research project will contact you to discuss details of the project and provide advanced reading material. The REU site director will be in contact with you to complete formalities required to plan your participation in the program.