Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to a common application Site?

Students should complete the common application if, and only if, the Site is participating in the REU common application. Many Sites in engineering, mathematical sciences, biological sciences, and earth sciences have adopted the REU common application. To find out which Sites use the common application, review the list at the bottom of the General Info page. If you want to apply to a Site that does not use the common application, you will need to complete that Site’s program-specific application, following their application procedures.

Which REU Sites are participating in the common application system?

To find out which Sites use the common application, review the list at the bottom of the General Info page.

How do I apply to Sites that are not part of the common application?

You can apply to these Sites by following each Site’s application procedures. Refer to the Site’s website or contact the Site for more information. You can find website links for Sites in the NSF list of REU Sites.

Is the REU program application free of charge?

Yes. An REU Site may not charge students an application fee.

I am not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. Can I still apply?

To receive funding from the NSF REU program, you must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States by the time the program starts.

I am a first-year student. Am I eligible for the REU program?

Yes. In fact, high school graduates who have been accepted at an undergraduate institution but have not yet started their undergraduate studies are also eligible to participate.

I have previously participated in the REU program. May I apply again?

Yes. However, priority will be given to students who have not yet participated in the program.

I don’t have Internet access. Can I still apply to the REU program?

Yes. Please contact the REU Help Desk at reuhelp@mathematica-mpr.com or 1-800-232-8024 to receive a paper version of the registration form and submission instructions.

I am having problems using the online system. What should I do?

Contact the REU Data System administrators at reuhelp@mathematica-mpr.com or 1-800-232-8024. They will be happy to help you with any technical problems.

When is the deadline to submit my application(s)?

Application deadlines vary by Site. Please refer to each Site’s website for important dates and deadlines, or use the search tool on the Sites in the common application page.

When will I know whether I am admitted?

Notification dates and procedures vary by Site. Sites are committed to completing the evaluation process as soon as possible. Please note that due to the large number of applications and the small number of positions, many highly qualified applicants will not be admitted. This should in no way discourage you from applying!

How long does an REU experience last?

The REU Sites program is generally 10 to 12 weeks long. Participants must be present for the entire duration of the REU experience.

What are the start and end dates of an REU experience?

The program dates vary by Site. Please refer to the Site’s website or use the search tool on the General Info page to find out about important dates and deadlines.

What is expected of an REU participant?

REU participants must commit to working a maximum of 40 hours a week for 10 to 12 weeks. Thus, you should not apply to an REU Site if you plan to carry a heavy course load or hold a demanding job. Accepting an REU position implies that you agree to be available for the entire program. You should consult with Site staff if you need flexibility in your workload or schedule to accommodate classes or other work.

Do I get paid as an REU participant?

Students in the REU program generally receive a stipend determined by each Site. You may contact the Site directly for more information.

How many letters of reference do I need?

You must provide contact information for two people, who will be sent a reference form to complete online.

How many REU Sites can I apply to through the common application?

You may apply to up to ten REU Sites through the common application.

If I apply to the maximum number of REU Sites allowed through the common application, can I apply to additional REU Sites that are not included in the common application?

Yes, you may apply to additional REU Sites directly as long as they have not adopted the common application system.

I have applied to the maximum number of REU Sites allowed through the common application, but I would like to apply to more Sites that accept the common application. Can I apply “directly” to these additional Sites?

No, you must use the common application to apply to REU Sites that accept the common application.

Where can I ask about things not covered in these FAQs?

Email questions or concerns to reuhelp@mathematica-mpr.com or call 1-800-232-8024.