Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Physics & Astronomy

Undergraduate Program

Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Admissions for Summer 2024

Our summer 2024 program will run from May 27 - August 3, 2024.  

REU Program Flyer 2024

We host a 10-week REU program which introduces students to the nature of research-oriented careers in physics and astronomy and fosters development of research-related skills and knowledge. Participants work with faculty mentors matched based on student interests. Weekly seminars, group meetings, and field trips (e.g. to LIGO Livingston) provide students with additional skills and experiences. Professional development covers a range of topics such as ethics and notebook keeping, patents/intellectual property, poster design and presentation, and application to graduate schools. Many events occur in conjunction with concurrent LSU summer undergraduate science programs across science and engineering. The program organizes an Astronomy Night outreach event with a public lecture and student-run physics demos and telescope viewing.

The faculty, students, and staff of the Department of Physics & Astronomy (P&A) believe that we are strengthened by the broad perspectives of all in our close community. Support for diverse voices contributes to a vibrant and welcoming environment, which enhances our teaching, learning, scholarly activities, and service. We commit to meld our diverse viewpoints and experiences into our shared identity by actively encouraging all to act responsibly and equitably on campus and while representing the department. We expect all our members to abide by these values and to oppose inappropriate behaviors, attitudes, and actions that detract from our community, so that our department is a place where we will thrive together. Applications from members of underrepresented groups and students at community colleges and other institutions with limited research opportunities are particularly encouraged. Further information about the Department’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility can be found at here


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.  Applications from students at community colleges and other institutions with limited research opportunities are particularly encouraged.
  • 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 submitted through NSF’s ETAP system
    • A Self-statement, up to 1 page in length, submitted as part of your online application:
      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 your preferred mentor and/or topic area. (Note, however, that final mentor confirmation occurs after selection of participants.)
    • Your current college transcript(s) submitted as part of your online application:
      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.  If your school requires the transcript be sent directly to recipients, they should be sent to
    • Letters of reference from 2 professors. Your referees will submit their letters through NSF’s ETAP system. 
  • Application is via NSF’s ETAP system linked above.  You should also submit your personal statement and transcript as part of this application so you should have them ready before you begin.

Stipends - Lodging - Traveling Expenses

  • You are paid a program stipend of $6,000 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.

Program Calendar

  • February 1  →  complete applications are due by this date (late applications will not be accepted).
  • March 1  →  acceptance notifications for first-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 27  →  first day of Summer 2024 Program (Arrive in Baton Rouge)
  • August 2 →  Summer Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF), poster presentations from all students in the LSU's STEM summer research programs and/or virtual presentations.
  • August 3 →  last day of Summer 2024 Program (Depart Baton Rouge)

*The NSF-Funded Physics & Astronomy REU sites will utilize a common deadline of early in March 2024, for students to accept or decline first round offers at domestic (non-international) sites. 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. Thomas Corbitt - 225-578-4779

Mailing Address:

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