No! We strongly encourage you to apply regardless of past research experience, especially if you are an underrepresented student in science and engineering. One of the goals of this program is to give research experience to students who would not otherwise be able to at their university.
Who should I ask for my letters of recommendation?
Recommendations should be from faculty members and mentors. It’s important for you to know what a weak letter of recommendation is: a weak letter is one that says you are a good student and nothing else. A strong letter of recommendation will be: this student is great, and then it should go into detail about why the recommender believes that you are so good based off of your previous interactions. Be sure to let your recommenders know that faculty and graduate students review the applications, so that they can gear their letter towards that audience.
Physical science and engineering majors, including but not limited to: biology, bioengineering, chemistry, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, , civil engineering, materials science, and physics.
We are unable to let you know when your application is complete before the deadline, and it is therefore your responsibility to ensure all documents will reach our office on time. If you email in your documents, you will receive an email notification that it has been received. If your documents are faxed or mailed, we will be unable to let you know that we’ve received them until after the application deadline. All students will be emailed after the deadline to let them know if their application is complete or not.
Complete applications will be reviewed as they are turned in. The earlier an application is submitted, the earlier it will be reviewed. There are a very high number of applications received in the last days before the deadline, therefore it is to the advantage of the student to turn in their application well in advance to ensure all materials are received on time.
Faculty members, graduate students, and post-docs (all members of the science and engineering community) will be reviewing your essays. The people reviewing your essay may or may not have a degree in your field so it’s good to write for a broader audience. Also, it’s good to remember that the people reading your application all have a technical background and it is very important to go into detail about your technical interests.
Students are matched to a research mentor who does research in the area of the student’s interest. On your application, identify the faculty members whose research interest you. If admitted into the program, the admissions committee does its best to place interns in one of their top choice, or in the closest area of research.
Projects are chosen for the students based on the interests they list on their applications. We try to match the student’s interests to a project that a mentor has for the summer. These projects change yearly and are dependent upon the mentors' needs. If chosen to be a part of a project, the mentee and mentor will work out between them what the project will entail.
Can I take classes while participating in URISE at Berkeley?
No. URISE at Berkeley interns cannot take classes while participating in the program because it will negatively affect their research. Interns are expected to spend the majority of their time (40 hours/week) in the labs as well as completing their summer internship deliverables.
If accepted into URISE at Berkeley, does that guarantee admission as a graduate student?
No. All URISE at Berkeley interns have an opportunity to interact with a number of UC Berkeley faculty members, administrators, and students. However, acceptance as a summer intern does NOT guarantee admissions into any graduate schools in UC Berkeley.
How long before the deadline should things be mailed?
All application materials must be RECEIVED by February 14, 2019. Mail delivery typically will take 5-6 days to reach our office from across the country, but it can be longer. Please mail your materials far enough in advance to ensure that they are received on-time.