Experience for Undergraduates Program
UC Davis Physics and Astronomy Department
June 18 to August 25, 2023
The summer 2023 REU program is now full, and the application is
no longer available.
Our NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates
program in the UC Davis Department of Physics and Astronomy will continue
during summer 2023. We fully expect the program to take place in person.
Research projects form the heart of the 10-week program.
These provide a view of physics very different
from typical coursework. Our program strongly encourages interactions
among participants, for example through field trips and shared housing.
The application, when open, can be reached from the
Application Information page.
Research Project- Students can choose from several
of the physics and astronomy subfields represented at UC Davis.
Each student has a personalized project,
which concludes with a 15-minute presentation to the rest of the REU group
and other interested department members. About 30% of the participants co-author
journal articles based on their summer work.
The REU students live together in housing arranged by the program.
In 2022 this was in subleased apartments in the Arlington Farms, Aspen,
Glacier Point, and Saratoga West complexes. All of these are in
West Davis, less than 10 minutes apart by bicycle. Each apartment
had at least two REU students, as well as one or more UC Davis
undergraduate students who remained in Davis for the summer. We expect a
similar arrangement in 2023, possibly with different apartment
Bicycles will be provided for easy access to campus.
Students who live with the main group will receive an additional allowance
for food, much of which is pooled for communal weekday dinners.
Teams of two or three students take turns preparing these weekday
dinners for the group. For other meals students can choose between
making their own food or eating out.
Stipend - Students receive a $600/week stipend and some support
towards travel to and from the program.
Student/Faculty Interaction - During the first week of the
program, faculty give introductory talks to put the students on a
common ground so they can discuss their research. Throughout the summer,
weekly gatherings are held, with a faculty mentor present,
in which students will discuss their work. The weekly meetings also
include learning about career paths of previous REU participants.
At least one session is entirely devoted
to information on graduate school.
Social Programs - The program usually includes one local and four
out-of-town field trips, the latter often on weekends.
Trips may have a scientific emphasis, such as touring a national laboratory
or industry facility, or may be primarily recreational. See the descriptions of
our past REU programs for examples. These trips provide another opportunity
to interact with faculty and graduate students in several subfields of physics.
Students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents to receive
funding from our main grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation. We
can accommodate non-citizens if they do not need financial support,
or if we are able to find other means to support them. This may depend
on the specific research group. We will try to find ways to enable all
selected students to attend.
Students must have finished high school by summer 2023 but must not have
completed a B.S., B.A., or equivalent degree in Physics or a related field.
College students from two-year or four-year institutions may apply. All
participants must be continuing their college education in Fall 2023.
Strong preference is given to students who have completed at least one year of
calculus-based introductory physics.
Although there is some flexibility in dates, we normally ask that students be
able to attend the program for at least 9 weeks, through August 18.
If your college schedule requires you to leave before then, you may want to
consider REU programs that better fit your availability.
All applications completed on or before February 14 will be reviewed before
any offers are made. "Complete" means that at least two letters and
a transcript have been received, in addition to the student's response
to the application questions. Leave your recommenders adequate time to submit
their letters! We begin making offers in late February, and
initial offers for most projects will be made by March 1.
We continue to review applications as they are completed, until all positions
are filled. However, we strongly advise students to submit all materials
by the end of February, when most of the positions are still open.
Most offers are made in late February and early March, with a
few extending to late March and early April. Offers are sent by email.
Each is for a
specific project, and the faculty mentor will discuss the details with
the applicant. Usually we give students a one-week deadline to accept
or turn down our offers. The Physics REU site directors will utilize
a common deadline of March 3, 2023, for students to accept or decline
first-round offers at domestic (non-international) sites. Sites may
send offers to students at any time before this, but students will not
be required to decide before March 3. Because of necessary organizational
lead time, international REU sites may require earlier acceptance dates.
Once the program is full, usually in early April but occasionally several
weeks earlier or later, we notify (by email) all students with complete applications.
If you need to know the status of your application before then, feel
free to ask us about it at any time.