Year-Round Opportunities

Research Assistantships with Faculty

Working with faculty on their research programs can be done for pay as a work-study or non-work-study job, for credit through an independent study, or just for the experience.  While it's the best way to prepare for a senior thesis, it can also be a great opportunity at any time in your undergraduate career.  Work-study and non-workstudy jobs for students, including some research positions, are listed here: Career Center  In addition, the UCSC Career Center has a website listing internship opportunitites:

Advice on approaching faculty directly about research work can be found on our "New and Prospective Student" page. We can suggest a few faculty members for you to contact if you check out the Research Opportunity Tracking Sheet.

Undergraduate Research Resources:

This website has valuable resources as well as a data base for available internships. A great resource for students looking for internships, with other information such as how to join a lab or research group, examples of emails to professors, appication tips and deadlines, research ethics, preparing for undergraduate research, and a research programs database.

Please click here to view additional physics research opportunities for undergraduate students. To view research opportunities with UCSC faculty, please click here. Spreadsheets will be updated on a quarterly basis.

Reader Positions

During the school year, students are hired as readers to grade homework in physics courses.  Applications for reader positions are available in the Physics Office (ISB 211).  Good performance in the course in question—and in others—helps.

Summer Research Opportunities and Internships

NSF REU Programs

The National Science Foundation offers summer research opportunities for undrgraduates called REUs (Research Experience for Undergraduates). UC Santa Cruz has hosted many of these summer research opportunities and many more over the years. The REU programs usually consist of a group of ten undergraduates who work in the research programs of the host institution. Each student works closely with the faculty and other researchers. Students are given stipends and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel.

The Sustainable Materials REU

The Sustainable Materials REU program website is available here. We will have two slots available for UCSC students, eight slots for community college students, and two slots for Jairo’s Velasco's CAREER award participants. See the REU Program Flyer for 2022 for more information.

Santa Cruz Sustainable Materials

APS/IBM Research Internship for Undergraduate Women and Underrepresented Minorities

The American Physical Society and IBM co-sponsor two undergraduate research internship programs: the APS/IBM Research Internship for Undergraduate Women, and the APS/IBM Research Internships for Underrepresented Minority Students. The goal of these internships is to encourage women and underrepresented minorities to pursue graduate studies in science and engineering. Any student who identifies as a woman and an underrepresented minority is eligible to apply to both internships.

DESY Summer Student Programme

Each summer DESY offers undergraduate students in physics, related natural science disciplines or computing the possibility to participate in the research activities of the laboratory. Selected candidates join in the day-to-day work of research groups at the DESY Laboratory in Hamburg or Zeuthen (Berlin) and participate in one of these activities.
While the work in the groups is the main activity, there will also be a series of lectures (given in English) related to the research done at DESY. Visits to the accelerators and experiments are also included in this programme.

 Resource for DACA Students

Summer Research and Professional Development Programs for Undocumented College Students in STEM Fields

Other Summer Research Programs

(Source: Special thanks to the University of Iowa Physics Department for providing Summer Research Internship information and links found in this section.)

*This summer space program was developed by Pablo Saz Parkinson, who worked with us for several years on the NASA Fermi project. Now in Hong Kong, find out more here:


UCDC Political Internship in Washington, D.C. 

The UCDC program, administered by the Politics department, supports undergraduates in all majors looking for internship opportunties in Washington, DC. Students take classes and intern at one of the many organizations and agencies in the Washington D.C. area while fully enrolled as UCSC students. The cost for the quarter is comparable to a quarter on campus at UCSC (plus travel), and need-based scholarships are available to aid in the cost of airfare and additional living expenses. See to hear more about this exciting opportunity to influence the political world with a physical sciences perspective!