Frequently Asked Questions

    currently attend MIT. Can I still apply?
    Unfortunately not. The Summer Internship Program is funded by NSF and as such, is directed to the support of 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. Wellesley College students are eligible for the REU Summer Internship Program at MIT and the MIT UROP program.

    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 15 - August 5, 2017.

    How much does it pay?
    There's a $6500 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 every faculty member 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. Each option has pros and cons. Remember that your living situation will affect your social and academic success while at the institute, so choose wisely. You are encouraged to live on campus, most students do. 

    On-campus accommodations will be available. Each intern will have a "single" bedroom. Housing for the nine-week program will cost approximately $2650. 

    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. Expect to pay at least $1000/month for a furnished "single" within a 30-minute public transportation ride.

    What will I eat?
    You will be responsible for purchasing your own food for the 9 week 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. Fiddle around the web for more tourism ideas: 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 (see the Boston Phoenix). Try to learn the language, for instance, and here's a little map. 

    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 eight weeks of the program. 

    One of the ideas here 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. 2016. Then, fill out our on-line application. Submit your transcripts and letters of recommendation by the due date to We'll let you know soon after March 14, 2017 if you've been accepted into the program. 

    So I fill out the online form, but still have to send stuff to you. Should I wait and send it all at once?
    You'll need to send a copy of your official transcripts and two recommendation letters, but no, you don't need to send them all at once. The recommendation letters can be mailed directly to us or emailed to us by the person writing the recommendation, or you can gather everything together and send it to us yourself. Whatever works--just make sure your entire application, including all transcripts and recommendation letters, is complete by the February 10, 2017 deadline. 

    Recommendation letters should be written and sent by professors or other people you've worked with. Letters should be emailed in PDF format or addressed to:
    MIT, Materials Processing Center
    Attention: Lisa Sinclair
    Rm. 24-517
    77 Massachusetts Avenue
    Cambridge, MA 02139

    Official school transcripts can also be sent to the address listed above.
    Application Deadline: February 10, 2017

    Applicants selected to participate in the Summer Internship Program will be notified by phone or email within a few days of March 14. All others will be notified by 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.

    For questions not answered by this FAQ, contact Ms. Maria Aglietti,

    Jointly funded by the Materials Processing Center and the Center for Materials Science and Engineering, a National Science Foundation Materials Research & Science Engineering Center. MIT is an equal opportunity employer. Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

    More in this category: About the Summer Scholars Program »