Chances of getting an REU next summer

MrsNemesis
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:09 pm

Chances of getting an REU next summer

Postby MrsNemesis » Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:15 pm

I'm a domestic white female with a 3.30 gpa. I'm at a large state school with a decent physics program, but not many opportunities for research. I'm a freshman major-wise, technically a junior because I'm already done with all of my lower-division general ed, but a little behind because my A.A. was in Language Arts and then I decided to go the complete opposite direction and major in physics. Also, I don't think it'll have any effect, but I'm 18 years old and I was 17 when I got my A.A., but it's not in physics so it's pretty irrelevant. What do you think my chances are for getting an REU next summer, assuming my grades stay in the same range?

stengah
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:07 am

Re: Chances of getting an REU next summer

Postby stengah » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:00 am

Getting an REU is difficult. Some universities report getting 500+ applicants for roughly 10 spots. The lowest I have ever heard of is 70 applicants for 7 spots. For this reason, it can often be advantageous to apply to non-NSF funded summer research programs. They tend to get less applicants because they don't bare the REU name and aren't on the REU list on the NSF website. These exist at NASA, some national labs, and some universities too. But research is research, it doesn't matter what it's called. They are bit harder to find, so start looking early.

I've often heard that your recommendation letters can play the most important role, so make sure you can get good ones from professors who know you well. Your personal statement will be important too, you should be able to talk intelligently about the research being done at X university and why you should be a part of it. Unfortunately, your grades are a little low for the typical successful applicant, so try to raise them as much as you can. They will also look at what courses you have taken to assess if you are prepared enough for whatever projects you apply for.

But it's basically impossible to know what your chances are, you just have to apply and hope you get in somewhere. Good luck.

User avatar
WhoaNonstop
Posts: 851
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:31 am

Re: Chances of getting an REU next summer

Postby WhoaNonstop » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:15 pm

I'm going to give my general impression of your chances based on different criteria. I applied to REU programs for three summers.

Horrible
Bad
Okay
Good
Great

Domestic - Pretty sure it is a requirement for most REUs.

White - Hurts more than most would believe. REUs typically focus on recruiting minorities.

Female - Same reasoning as above. Women are typically minorities in Physics.

3.30 GPA - REUs are very competitive. Most people applying will easily have a 3.5+.

Large State School - Even though you have mentioned there being no research opportunities, a large state school tends to have more options than a liberal arts college or a small state school. Most of the people in my REU were from very small schools with no research at all. Not all however.

Lower-division general education completed - They don't care.

Freshman major-wise - Your biggest problem. They generally want students who have had some upper level coursework. Most people in REUs are Juniors-->Seniors.

You should still apply, but I'd say your chances are ********.

Once a few years go by your chances will be better.

-Riley

(PS - I didn't even use blue.. =( )

Brian47
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:46 am

Re: Chances of getting an REU next summer

Postby Brian47 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:51 am

stengah wrote:Getting an REU is difficult. Some universities report getting 500+ applicants for roughly 10 spots. The lowest I have ever heard of is 70 applicants for 7 spots. For this reason, it can often be advantageous to apply to non-NSF funded academic summer camps research programs. They tend to get less applicants because they don't bare the REU name and aren't on the REU list on the NSF website. These exist at NASA, some national labs, and some universities too. But research is research, it doesn't matter what it's called. They are bit harder to find, so start looking early.

I've often heard that your recommendation letters can play the most important role, so make sure you can get good ones from professors who know you well. Your personal statement will be important too, you should be able to talk intelligently about the research being done at X university and why you should be a part of it. Unfortunately, your grades are a little low for the typical successful applicant, so try to raise them as much as you can. They will also look at what courses you have taken to assess if you are prepared enough for whatever projects you apply for.

But it's basically impossible to know what your chances are, you just have to apply and hope you get in somewhere. Good luck.




Hey Stengah
Is there any other option that can help me getting in the REU
Please let me know :roll:

thehairupthere
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:44 pm

Re: Chances of getting an REU next summer

Postby thehairupthere » Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:36 am

The way I did an REU (or whatever you want to call it, essentially a summer research internship) was by simply contacting a professor at a different (but not too far away) university whom I was really interested in his research. I asked him for a meeting (you could also do with a skype meeting) and he offered me the internship. My grades were not competitive at all but he didn't care once he saw me and saw my excitement towards research in general and his research in particular.

This was after getting ~20 rejections for REUs that I applied for; I am really glad they all rejected me, cause in the end I got to do what I really want to do with someone whose work I was truly interested in.

I would definitely encourage you to do this instead of putting all your hopes in applications with no human communication. (But also do send out some applications, in the worst case it is good as an exercise for grad school applications!)

Good luck!




Return to “Research”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest