Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions? You may find answers here. If you have more questions, please email: tbsi@berkeley.edu

Do I need research experience to apply?

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. 

I have more than one area of interest, should I include them all?

Yes. Provide as much information as you can. It is also best to be as specific as possible in order to appropriately match you with a faculty mentor.

What majors will be considered?

Physical science and engineering majors, including but not limited to: biology, bioengineering, chemistry, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, , civil engineering, materials science, and physics.

How will I know when my application is complete?

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.  

What is the application deadline?

Applications are due: March 29, 11:59 P.M. PST.  Applications are accepted until March 29, 2018. It is to your advantage to submit your application early to ensure all requirements arrive in time.

When are the applications reviewed?

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. 

What if my final exams conflict with the program dates?

Students are required to participate for the entire duration of the program. If your final exams conflict with the program start date, you should arrange to take your exams earlier.

Can I bring a car?

No. The interns will be staying on campus. Parking is limited on campus and there is no campus overnight parking.

Is it possible for me to live at home while I do research?

If accepted, you will be required to live in the dorms on campus that are provided by the program.

Who reads the essays?

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.

How are research mentors chosen?

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.

How long before the deadline should things be mailed?

All application materials must be RECEIVED by March 29, 2018. 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. 

Can I send in an unofficial transcript?

Yes, unofficial transcripts will be accepted. If admitted, you will be expected to provide an official copy of your transcripts.

When will I find out if I am accepted into the program?

Students will be notified of their acceptance into the program by late-April.

How are research projects chosen?

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.

I am an international student; can I apply to URISE at Berkeley program?

Yes, international students who are currently enrolled in US four-year universities or colleges are eligible to apply. However, they are not eligible to receive the internship stipend due to their visa status.

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 do I have to accept an offer?

Once you are notified of admission into URISE at Berkeley, you have one week to accept.

Where do I send my transcripts and resume?

By mail:

ATTN: URISE at Berkeley Program

2150 Shattuck Ave. 10th Floor

Berkeley, CA 94704-4200

By email: tbsi@berkeley.edu.

Is this program available for graduate students?

No.  URISE at Berkeley is only available for undergraduate students. 

How long does URISE at Berkeley run?

URISE at Berkeley is a nine-week program. In 2018 it will run from June 9th – August 11th. Students are expected to participate for the entire duration of the program.

I am planning to graduate in Spring 2018; can I apply to URISE at Berkeley program?

No. All students must be planning to return to a college or university as an undergraduate in the fall after participating in URISE at Berkeley program.