Research Experience for Undergraduates Program
UC Davis Physics and Astronomy Department
June 16 to August 23, 2024

All positions in the 2024 REU program have been filled. Applications will no longer be accepted.


Our NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates program in the UC Davis Department of Physics and Astronomy will continue during summer 2024. The application can be reached from the Application Information page.

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.

Program Summary

  • 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.
  • Housing - The REU students live together in housing arranged by the program. For the past two years this was in subleased apartments in West Davis; in 2023 these were in the Aspen Village and Stonegate Village complexes. Each apartment had at least two REU students; some also had one or more UC Davis undergraduates who remained in Davis for the summer. We expect a similar arrangement in 2024, possibly with different apartment buildings. 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 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 2024 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 2024.
  • 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 16. 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 8, 2024, 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 the common deadline. 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.