Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Physics & Astronomy

Undergraduate Program

Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Admissions for Summer 2021

(Our summer 2021 program will most likely run May 24- July 31) but is subject to change due to Covid-19 circumstances)

At this point we are uncertain of the form that the program will take due to uncertainty in the Covid-19 situation next summer. We hope to offer a hybrid program where those who wish to participate on campus in-person will be able to, but a virtual option will also be available for those unwilling or unable to travel. If necessary, we will operate a full-virtual program as we did in summer 2020. Obviously, experimental projects will be unavailable for virtual participation. Please indicate on your application form whether you are interested in an in-person experience, a virtual experience, or either.

REU Program Flyer

facebook logoWe host a summer REU program in Physics & Astronomy. The 10-week program introduces students to the nature of research-oriented careers in physics & astronomy, and fosters development of research-related skills and knowledge. Participants are matched with faculty mentors based on student interests. Weekly seminars, field trips and workshops provide students with additional skills development, professional development topics such as ethics and patents/intellectual property, and an introduction to common research resources. Many events occur in conjunction with concurrent LSU summer undergraduate science programs in space science, computational science, and biomedical sciences. 

Research Information | Eligibility | ApplyStipends-Lodging-Travel Expenses | Program CalendarREU Program Director

Research Information

Sample Project Descriptions

Prospective Mentors*

*Not all faculty may be available each summer

Areas of Research Available in the Department

Local and Regional Resources


  • You must be an undergraduate student in any academic year (freshman through senior) at the time of the summer program.
  • You don't need to have a declared major, but you must have already completed the introductory physics sequence at your school.
  • Participants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents to be supported by our NSF funding.

To Apply

  • Your application comprises:
    • A completed online application
    • A Self-statement, up to 1 page in length:
      The 1-page Self-statement should describe your academic background, your interests, and your tentative career plans. The Statement should indicate why you feel REU participation would benefit you and your future plans; also, describe how you believe you can contribute to your mentor’s research topic. If applicable, you are welcome to describe prior undergraduate research experience, as well as any other information that you feel may be useful to our assessment. Finally, please indicate if you have a preferred mentor or topic area. (Note, however, that final mentor assignment occurs after selection of participants.)
    • Your current college transcript(s):
      Unofficial transcripts are acceptable, for instance a scanned copy of an official transcript,  please scan with at least 200 dpi resolution and format as a PDF file. If your school provides you with online access to your transcript or degree audit, a PDF printout of this may also be acceptable. In either case, the electronic copy of your transcript must be directly traceable to your school registrar. A handwritten list of courses, or a copied transcript modified by hand/typewriter/computer, will not be accepted.
    • Letters of reference from 2-3 professors. The Referee Instructions 2021 can be downloaded and given to your professors.
  • Application is via a web form linked above. All additional application materials must be sent to the REU program coordinator. Please send all materials by e-mail to ( We will try to acknowledge receipt of all materials received by email. If an item cannot be sent electronically, please mail it to:  REU Program Coordinator, Louisiana State University, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, 202 Nicholson Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803-4001

Stipends - Lodging - Traveling Expenses

  • You are paid a program stipend of $5,000 to cover the cost of groceries, on- or off-campus dining, and other personal expenses.
  • You are lodged in University housing at no direct expense to you. The housing is apartment style, with individual bedrooms and a common living area and kitchen. The apartments include utilities, internet, washer/dryer and basic cable. Your roommates will be participants in the Physics REU and other summer science programs.
  • Up to $700 per student is available to assist with travel expenses to get to LSU at the beginning of the program and to return to your home or school at the end of the summer.
  • If you participate in the program virtually then we will increase the stipend to offset your summer housing costs.

Program Calendar

  • February 1  →  complete applications are due by this date (late applications will not be accepted).
  • February 23  →  acceptance notifications for firts-round offers will be sent around this date. Your application will remain under consideration for later round offers after this.
  • May 1  →  matching of participants to mentors will be finalized; travel arrangements should be completed.
  • May 24  →  first day of Summer 2021 Program (Arrive in Baton Rouge)
  • July 30 →  Summer Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF), poster presentations from all students in the LSU's STEM summer research programs and/or virtual presentations.
  • July 31→  last day of Summer 2021 Program (Depart Baton Rouge)

*The Physics REU sites will utilize a common deadline of  early in March 2021, 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 this common date. Because of necessary organizational lead time, international REU sites may require earlier acceptance dates.


NSF logoFor all questions, please contact:
Dr. Rob Hynes - 225-578-7459
Dr. Rongying Jin - 225-578-0028

Mailing Address:

REU Program Director
Louisiana State University
Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
202 Nicholson Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-4001