MIT Summer Research Program – General (MSRP)


Program Dates

June 5 – August 6, 2022

Application Opens

November 15, 2021

Application Deadline

January 10, 2022


  1. MSRP General does not accept applications for the following MIT departments who host their own summer programs.
    1. Biology: MSRP Biology/BCS
    2. Brain & Cognitive Sciences: MSRP Biology/BCS
  2. MSRP General strongly encourages applicants to apply to more than one summer program.  Learn about research experiences for undergraduates at MIT and beyond.  Visit the lists at MIT Graduate Admissions and Institute for Broadening Participation Pathways to Science. 


Please also review our FAQ page for more program information.


The MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP) seeks to promote the value of graduate education; to improve the research enterprise through increased diversity; and to prepare and recruit the best and brightest for graduate education at MIT.

MSRP began in 1986 as an institutional effort to address the issue of underrepresentation of African Americans, Mexican Americans, Native Americans, and Puerto Ricans in engineering and science in the United States. Today, this program’s goal is to increase the number of underrepresented minorities and underserved (e.g. low socio-economic background, first generation) students in the research enterprise.

MSRP seeks to identify talented sophomores, juniors, and non-graduating seniors who might benefit from spending a summer on MIT’s campus, conducting research under the guidance of MIT faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, and advanced graduate students.

Students who participate in this program will be better prepared and motivated to pursue advanced degrees, thereby helping to sustain a rich talent pool in critical areas of research and innovation.


Departments and labs participate in MSRP based on the admitted applicants’ areas of interest. MIT offers over 35 graduate programs in five schools:

We encourage you to explore MIT’s programs, faculty, and research before you apply to MSRP!

  • Supervision by an MIT faculty member and postdoctoral fellow or advanced graduate student
  • Individual counseling on academic careers
  • Constructive feedback on the need for further undergraduate courses and acquisition of additional laboratory skills
  • Opportunity to possibly co-author a scientific paper with the faculty mentor
  • Exposure to state of the art research laboratories in MIT departments and interdisciplinary centers
  • A weekly stipend
  • Round trip travel expenses
  • University housing (students are responsible for their food expenses)
  • Access to campus facilities (library, athletic, and health facilities)
  • Weekly research presentation by MIT faculty
  • Weekly seminars on issues directly related to the academic, personal, and professional growth of interns
  • Community service day
  • Social outings (barbeques, boat cruise, visits to Boston area)
  • Preparation of an abstract, research paper, and graduate school statement of purpose
  • Poster presentation at the end of the program

Watch a video of the 2019 MSRP participants:



Pro Tip #1: Recommendation letters provide credibility, speaking to an applicant’s academic abilities, character, values, and goals. MSRP General requires all applicants to have three letters of recommendation and accounts for 20% of an applicant’s score. The tips below will help you ensure that your letters speak to your strengths in ways that enhance your application.

  • Select letter recommenders who know you well. Recommenders should be able to recall important details about your work and enthusiastically endorse you. If a letter recommender seems lukewarm in their response, find someone else to write the letter.
  • Allow at least two (2) weeks for the letter to be written. Ideally, three to four weeks will allow the writer to think carefully about what they will include in your letter. Note: The MSRP application deadline falls immediately following the holiday season and when most undergraduate institutions return from winter break. Make a plan and start requesting letters of recommendation before the winter break.
  • Provide your letter recommenders with the following information: program description, resume, short answer responses, the process for submitting recommendation letters, and due dates.
  • Express your appreciation for your letter recommenders. You can send an email or letter expressing your gratitude for their time and once you know the outcome of your application, be sure to share it with your letter writers.

Pro Tip #2: You’ve worked hard as a student and budding reseacher — now it’s time to represent your qualifications and passions in the form of a competitive application. As you’re drafting your essay responses, see them as an opportunity to form your application into a coherent narrative. We believe your academic and research background, your aspirations for a future in research, and the identities and experiences which have influenced your research journey are interconnected parts of yourself. Let us get to know you as a student, as a person, and as a future MSRP intern!
As you’re crafting your application:

  • Ask yourself if there are any aspects of your identity which have influenced your education but aren’t reflected in your application materials. How can you incorporate details of this identity?
  • Consider how your essay questions fit together with one another, and as part of a complete application. Are you reiterating the same details of your journey, or conveying multiple sides of yourself?
  • Reverse-outline your essay responses, then set the essays aside. Does your reverse outline reflect what you’d like to be the main takeaways of your application?
  • Don’t forget the optional essay question! If you are struggling to work complex circumstances which have influenced your education into your other essay responses, take the opportunity to articulate these circumstances directly. Give this response time and attention, just as you did your other essays.


All of our application workshops for the Summer 2022 cycle have passed. While we do not record our workshops, their associated slide decks are available to view:


– Eligibility Requirements

– Frequently asked questions

National Conferences: Meet MIT representatives recruiting for MSRP at national conferences!


Please review our FAQs page. For questions not answered on the website, please contact the MSRP staff via:

Telephone: (617) 324-8453