Resources for applying to an REU

  • This has become our largest and most active forum because the physics GRE is just one aspect of getting accepted into a graduate physics program.
  • There are applications, personal statements, letters of recommendation, visiting schools, anxiety of waiting for acceptances, deciding between schools, finding out where others are going, etc.

Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:09 am

Resources for applying to an REU

Post by mcentag » Wed Apr 28, 2021 2:43 pm

Just wanted answers to a couple questions regarding how REU admissions work, as well as create a thread pointing to some resources for applying, since I will be applying for summer 2022 as a junior. If you have been through this process your feedback would be greatly appreciated :)

- To what extent are REU applications like grad school applications? Do they evaluate based on the same qualifications?
- How competitive are the spots? i.e. about how many programs should a typical applicant apply for to have a decent shot of getting into one?
- Are spots preferred for students coming from backgrounds that limit other opportunities for undergrad research (female/URM, small physics dept, etc.)? I'm interested in doing particle theory and go to a decently strong physics program which somehow doesn't have a particle group. A weak shout, I know.

I was only able to find one thread giving comprehensive advice on REU admissions. Unfortunately, it's from over 10 years ago and collapsed into a shitty argument about AA and diversity quotas lol. Many things have happened since then (the Stony Brook REU program stopped, and then re-started, for instance).

Most of my browsing of REU programs is at the NSF site ( ... ?unitid=69) so where is a good place to look for non-NSF summer research programs, like SURF at Caltech? Or summer research programs abroad?

Post Reply