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Undergraduate Astronomy Research

This page lists summer undergraduate research opportunities in astronomy and space sciences outside of OSU. Appearance on this list is informational, not an explicit endorsement (although all of them are great opportunities, and all are paid positions).

NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs typically have deadlines early in the new year for programs to run during the upcoming summer. NASA programs have similar application deadlines.

Most programs require you to fill out an application form (usually but not always online), write an essay, and provide either letters of recommendation (usually 2, sometimes 3), or ask you for the email addresses of people who will write you these letters (it varies by program).  Note that some programs may also have minimum GPA requirements.

We will add links to programs here as we learn of new opportunities, ordered by deadlines (earliest to latest).  The application period for the summer typically starts in January and programs have a wide variety of deadlines that sometimes change, so be sure to check the webpages linked below to confirm the actual deadlines. We recommend applying to more than one as some of them are competitive.

Astronomy is not the only field to have REUs or research opportunities. There are also opportunities in the Physics Department and other sciences if you look and ask. An extensive list of physics resources and opportunities is available here.

If you are an international student some of the programs are for domestic students only due to funding sources. You SHOULD email the program director and ask as there are sometimes spots that can be paid for differently. It is always worth your time to ask.

Summer Research Programs


NSF REU Programs in Astronomical Sciences (link to NSF) Deadlines: vary by program

NSF REU Programs in Physics (link to NSF) Deadlines: vary by program
Note: many Physics REU programs have research available in Astrophysics or Space Science!

All NSF REU Programs (link to NSF) Deadlines: vary by program

Compiled list of programs from AstroBetter, Deadlines: vary by program


Additional Programs:

University of Florida Gravitational Physics International REU, Deadline: 2024 January 8

Caltech LIGO SURF, Deadline: 2024 January 12

Ohio State Astronomy Summer Undergraduate Research Program, Deadline: 2024 Jan 16

Scientists in the Parks, outreach and research program, Deadline: 2024 Jan 21
Look for "Night Skies Assistant" or "Education Assistant" or "Science Communication Assistant" positions for those most relevant to Astro!

Carnegie Summer Undergraduate Research Program, Deadline: 2024 Jan 31

Harvard-Smithsonian Summer Astrophysics REU Intern Program, Deadline: 2024 Jan 31

DAWN-IRES Scholars Program in Copenhagen, Denmark (through UMass), Deadline: not running in 2024

NRAO Summer Student Research Assistantships, Deadline: 2024 Feb 1

SETI Institute REU, Deadline: 2024 Feb 1

NASA Summer Internships, Summer Session Deadline: 2024 Feb 2

Washington State University (WSU) REU in Physics and Astronomy, Deadline: 2024 Feb 4

Cornell University REU, Deadline: 2024 Feb 5

Brigham Young University (BYU) Physics and Astronomy REU, Deadline: 2024 Feb 5

Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) SROP (multiple programs), Deadline: 2024 Feb 10

Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) SUPPR, Deadline: not running in 2024

The University of Texas as Austin ASSURE Program, Deadline: 2024 Feb 12

The College of Wooster Physics and Astronomy REU, Deadline: 2023 Feb 28 (not yet updated for 2024)

JPL Summer Internship Program, Deadline: 2024 Mar 29



JPL = NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA
NRAO = National Radio Astronomy Observatory
NSF = National Science Foundation
REU = Research Experience for Undergraduates
SETI = Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
SROP = Summer Research Opportunities Program
SUPPR = Summer Undergraduate Program for Planetary Research