Research Experience for Undergraduates
Physics REU @ University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
The Department of Physics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign hosts a 10-week National Science Foundation (NSF)–sponsored summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). Offered since 1993, the REU provides undergraduates the opportunity to conduct research under the supervision of our world-class researchers.
Students participating in this program will spend the summer, May 27th, 2024 – August 2nd, 2024 (10 weeks), on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus working directly with senior physics faculty on challenging, meaningful projects. The summer experience is aimed at developing students' research literacy skills and exposing them to the wide diversity of physics subfields using experimental, computational, and theoretical approaches:
- Astrophysics, Relativity, and Cosmology
- Atomic, Molecular, and Optical (AMO) Physics
- Biological Physics
- Condensed Matter Physics
- High Energy Physics
- Nuclear Physics
- Physics Education Research
- Quantum Information Science
The NSF-funded REU program can only support citizens or permanent residents (including Green Card holders) of the United States, but the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Department of Physics is excited to host at least one international student each summer.
All students must be enrolled at institutions other than the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Applications will open in December 2023. Please check the schedule below for any questions about application timeline. If you have any questions, please email us.
We are currently in the process of updating this page and preparing the application site for the 2024 REU Physics program.
If you would like to subscribe to our email list to get updates when the application is live, please fill out this form: UIUC Physics REU 2024 Email List
What is it like to be an REU student?
Learn more about our program
REU student housing is provided at an on-campus residence hall (about a 10 minute walk from Loomis Lab) and is fully covered by the program. Housing is suite style, with three to four bedrooms surrounding a common living room and kitchen. Occasional meals are provided at the dining hall.
Appropriate accommodations will be made for any students with disabilities.
Student stipend is $6,000 for the 10-week summer program.
Travel to and from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus is also covered.
Social activities are an important part of an REU program. Forming connections with your fellow Physics REU students helps build a strong community. To support these connections the following are some of the examples of social activities you will be participating in:
- Introductory Picnic
- Summer Programs Ice Cream Social
- Coffee chats with University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign graduate students and REU alumni
- Volunteering / Outreach Events
- Field Trip to Argonne and Fermi National Labs
To receive full consideration for the program, apply online by January 19th 2024, however applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until January 26th, 2024 or until all projects are filled. A completed application consists of the following:
- an online application, which requires at least two (2) letters of references (advice on getting strong reference letters),
- a 300 to 500–word Statement of Interest describing your personal goals and how you believe this REU experience could help you achieve those goals,
- and an official or unofficial transcript uploaded to the application.
This website (Pathways to Science) has resources with helpful information on preparing applications to summer research programs.
- Students must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at a two-year or four-year institution (recently graduated seniors are not eligible for the program).
- Students must be a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States.
- Note: The NSF-funded REU program can only support citizens or permanent residents (including Green Card holders) of the United States, but the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Department of Physics is excited to host at least one international student each summer.
- Students are best prepared if they have completed their sophomore year by May 2024 with at least 4 semesters of physics and having an average technical (math/physics) grade point average of 3.0/4.0.
- Note: This requirement does not apply to community college students. Interested community college students who have completed one year of studies are very much encouraged to apply to our program.
- Some research topics recommend more prior preparation than others. To review the research topics, check out the Projects tab, or click here.
- Students must be majoring in physics or a related field.
- Applications are not accepted from currently enrolled students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
- December 7, 2023 — Applications open!
- January 19, 2024 — Priority application deadline, rolling until final deadline*
- January 26, 2024 (11:59PM) — All application deadline*
- February 23, 2024 — Offer letters sent to REU prospective participants
- No response is required until after March 1, 2024
- March 8, 2024 — Deadline for REU participant acceptance
- May 25, 2024 — REU participants arrive on UIUC campus
- May 28–May 31, 2024 — REU Research Bootcamp
- August 1–August 2, 2024 — REU final project presentations
*Offers will be made on a rolling basis after the application deadline, until all positions are filled. Awardees will be notified by email of their acceptance into the program and will be given a specific time window to accept or decline the offer.
Research Experience for Undergraduates Contacts
The REU summer site program of the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is supported by the National Science Foundation grant PHY-2244433. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Additional funding has been provided by the Department of Physics and by our generous alumni donors.