Frequently Asked Questions

The MSRP 2020 Application will open on November 15, 2019.  The program will be held June 7 – August 8, 2020. 

PLEASE NOTE: Students interested in Biology or Neuroscience must apply directly to the MIT Summer Research Program in Biology and Neuroscience.


  • What are the eligibility requirements?

    • Please see eligibility and qualification requirements on our Eligibility page.

  • I am an international student. Can I apply to MSRP?

    • International students enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program at a US institution located in the US or its territories are eligible to apply. However, the program does target domestic, underrepresented minorities. Students who will receive their bachelor’s degree at an institution located outside of the US and exchange students are NOT eligible to apply.

  • I am a US citizen attending an undergraduate institution outside of the US. Can I apply to MSRP?

    • No. We only accept applications from students studying at a home institution located in the US, including its territories.

  • Is this program available for graduate students?
    • No. MSRP is only available to non-MIT undergraduate students.
  • Can exceptions be made for first year students with additional credits or for graduating seniors?
    • No. You must be a sophomore, junior, or non-graduating senior to be eligible to apply. To be considered a sophomore, you must have completed four semesters (or the equivalent if your institution is not semester-based) by the start of the program. To be considered a non-graduating senior, you cannot graduate with your undergraduate degree until the semester after the program ends.
  • I am not a member of a minority group. May I still apply?
    • Yes. However, the program targets students who are members of groups underrepresented and underserved in graduate education.
  • What if my GPA is less than 3.5?
    • Applications from students who describe exceptional circumstances in their personal statement, or who demonstrate a marked progression of improving grades on their transcript, may be considered.

Back to top


  • How do I apply? 
    • The application will open on November 15, 2019. Application can be found at
  • What is the application deadline?
    • The 2020 application deadline is February 1st, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST. It is to your advantage to submit your application early to ensure all requirements arrive in time. 
  • What is on the application?
    • Essay questions
    • Upload for Resume/CV and Unofficial Transcript
    • Top three research preferences for department, faculty member, and research area (see more information below).
    •  Three letters of recommendation (see more information below).

  • Who are program faculty and should I contact faculty before I list them on the application or apply? 

    • No. There is no set list of “program faculty”, or faculty who are participating. Please conduct your own research into current MIT faculty for your top three research preferences using the department’s website, found here. MSRP works with faculty to place students in research groups once admitted to the program. The faculty you list do not affect your admissions decision. They are used to better understand your research interests, and for placement purposes should you be admitted.

  • Who should my references be and how do they submit my letters of recommendation?
    • At least 2 of the 3 recommendations must be from faculty members from an institution where you have conducted research or taken classes.
    • Applicants with prior research experience (whether at your home institution or elsewhere) are required to provide, at minimum, 1 letter of recommendation from a research supervisor. If you have conducted research under a faculty member, a letter from this individual would qualify as being from faculty and a research supervisor.
    • If you have participated in MSRP previously, 1 letter must be from your research mentor.

    • All letters of recommendation are submitted online. When you provide information for your references on your application, they will automatically receive an email containing a link to answer questions and submit the letter of recommendation. Please ask your references to watch for this email, as it may get caught in their spam filter.
    • You will be able to re-send the reference request link until the application deadline, even after you have submitted your application.
  • What do I do if I have trouble logging in, uploading my transcript, etc.?
  • Once I apply, when will I find out if I am accepted into the program?
    • Students are notified of their acceptance into the program in mid-March.
  • How long do I have to accept an offer?
    • Once you are notified of admission into MSRP, you have one week to accept.

Back to top


  • How long does MSRP run and what are the dates? 
    • MSRP General is a nine-week program. In 2020 it will run from June 7th – August 8th. Students are expected to participate on site for the entire duration of the program.
  • What if my final exams conflict with the program dates? 
    • Students are required to participate on site 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. Students at California institutions on the quarter system who are admitted may make arrangements to have their final exams proctored at MIT.
  • Does it cost to participate in MSRP? 
    • No. MSRP participants receive a weekly stipend, round trip travel, and university housing during the nine-week program. Food costs are not covered, although there are several program meals each week.
  • Which departments participate in MSRP? 
    • Participating departments and labs are determined by the admitted applicants’ areas of interest. Applicants list their top faculty and departments on the application, and we do our best to place admitted applicants in their top choice or a closely related lab.
  • Can I take classes while participating in MSRP? 
    • No. MSRP interns cannot take classes at MIT or elsewhere while participating in the program. MSRP is an intensive program, and research interns will spend the majority of their time in their research group as well as completing their MSRP deliverables and attending weekly MSRP events and activities.
  • If accepted into MSRP, does that guarantee admission into MIT for graduate school?
    • No. All MSRP interns have an opportunity to interact with a number of MIT faculty, administrators, and graduate students. However, acceptance into MSRP does NOT guarantee admission into MIT for graduate school.

Back to top


Please contact the MSRP staff with any questions not answered on the website:

Telephone: (617) 324-8453