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Preprofessional Opportunities

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Undergraduate Research Program


Category: Summer
Type: Research
Location: Cambridge Massachusetts
Deadline: Late January



Summer Research Program
Graduate Education Office, Rm 3-138
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307

(617) 253-9462


Non-MIT undergraduates who meet the following requirements are eligible: - Full-time undergraduate students at a U.S. university or college - Current sophomores, juniors, or non-graduating seniors - Successfully completed introductory courses in the life sciences - Minimum GPA of 3.5 in all STEM courses - Demonstrated interest in basic research and in a career in the sciences - Must provide all transcripts - Available to begin on June 1, the first day of program, no exceptions - There are very few spots for international students with outstanding academic records who meet all of the above criteria - Online application form and CV - 1-page personal statement - Unofficial college transcript (submitted electronically) - Three letters of reference from science faculty* (submitted electronically)


The Undergraduate Research Program is offered in collaboration with MIT’s Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences. The program provides a unique opportunity for students who do not have access to cutting-edge research facilities at their own institution to conduct supervised research in a fast-paced environment with state-of-the-art research facilities, and to experience first hand the academic, social, and cultural environment at MIT. 

The program is designed to encourage students from under-represented minority groups, first-generation college students, students from economically-disadvantaged backgrounds, and students with disabilities to attend graduate school and pursue a career in basic research by providing them the opportunity to conduct supervised research in an outstanding research institution, in a supportive learning environment with plenty of interaction with graduate students and faculty. Over 85% of past participants have enrolled in highly ranked graduate programs within two years of completing this summer program. A number of our summer students have been awarded Goldwater Scholarships, pre-doctoral NSF fellowships (GRFP), or Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study.

  • Practical training in one of over 90 research laboratories affiliated with the Department of Biology, the Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences, or the Department of Biological Engineering
  • Weekly academic seminars
  • Weekly meetings with faculty
  • Extracurricular activities (1) Visit to Biotech labs; 2) Guided tour of Boston and the Freedom Trail; 3) One-day trip to Martha’s Vineyard; 4) 4th of July barbecue; 5) Boston Harbor cruise)
  • Includes housing, a domestic travel stipend, weekly living stipend

During the program, students work full-time in the laboratory, participate in weekly meetings with faculty, and attend weekly academic seminars. The weekly seminars are designed to help students improve their presentation skills and to be more competitive graduate applicants, and cover topics such as applying to graduate school, giving an oral presentation, writing a research abstract, and learning about various career options available to PhD graduates. Students will also have the opportunity to attend departmental retreats, research seminars and symposia, learn about the graduate application process and meet with various MIT faculty members. The program solicits constructive and timely feedback from the students through the use of weekly surveys.

At the end of the program students give a poster presentation on their research, submit a 5-page research summary, a one-page personal statement about their summer experience at MIT and complete a program evaluation.