Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

Preprofessional Opportunities

University of Pittsburgh - Summer Undergraduate Research Program


Category: Summer
Type: Research
Location: Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
Deadline: Early March


Applicants must have completed their sophomore or junior year of undergraduate training before the start of the program. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 ("B") or higher. Strong performance in science, math, and related coursework is especially important. Students from all groups that are under-represented in science are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be undergraduate students currently enrolled full-time at a U.S. college or university. International applicants will be required to provide official authorization for Optional Practical Training (OPT) from their home institution, prior to their arrival in Pittsburgh.


Six graduate programs in the Pitt School of Medicine sponsor SURP - an annual Summer Undergraduate Research Program.   SURP participants engage in an intensive 10-week program designed to provide hands-on experience in biomedical research, together with guidance on how to plan for a research-related career. SURP will run from May - July.


Through SURP, aspiring biomedical scientists gain significant experience to help decide whether a life in research is “right” for them.  SURP serves as a stepping-stone from undergraduate studies to advanced PhD training in the biological and biomedical sciences.

Goals and Structure

  • To provide undergraduates with outstanding opportunities for research training in a diverse and inclusive university environment at a leading academic medical center.
  • To engage highly motivated undergraduates by immersing them in cutting-edge, hypothesis-driven laboratory environments.  Each SURP trainee works with a professor who shares similar research interests.  In addition to conducting approximately 400 hours of laboratory research, trainees receive individualized mentoring and participate in weekly seminars and lab meetings.  
  • To train participants in valuable technical skills relevant to research in a multiplicity of biomedical disciplines from fundamental biological discovery to mechanisms of disease.
  • To provide trainees with insight into the structure of graduate education and the steps leading to a successful career related to biomedical research.
  • SURP includes three field trips that explore Pittsburgh, a most livable city, while also facilitating peer-to-peer collegial interactions.
  • At the conclusion of SURP, all trainees write abstracts of their work and give short presentations on their projects at a final symposium.  

SURP is administered through the Office of Graduate Studies in the Pitt School of Medicine.  Our campus is situated in a friendly, safe urban environment located in the historic Oakland section of Pittsburgh.  SURP mentors are amongst >200 training faculty in six PhD training programs.