MIT's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) cultivates and supports research partnerships between MIT undergraduates and faculty. One of the earliest programs of its kind in the United States, MIT’s UROP invites undergraduates to participate in research as the junior colleagues of Institute faculty. The late Margaret L. A. MacVicar, Professor of Physical Science and Dean for Undergraduate Education, created MIT’s UROP in 1969, inspired by Edwin H. Land. Land, the inventor of instant photography, believed in the power of learning by doing.

UROP offers the chance to work on cutting edge research—whether you join established research projects or pursue your own ideas. As UROPers, undergraduates participate in each phase of standard research activity: developing research plans, writing proposals, conducting research, analyzing data and presenting research results in oral and written form.

MIT students use their UROP experiences to become familiar with the faculty, learn about potential majors, and investigate areas of interest. UROPers gain practical skills and knowledge they eventually apply to careers after graduation or as graduate students. Most importantly, they become involved in exciting research!

UROP projects take place during the academic year, as well as over the summer, and research can be done in any academic department or interdisciplinary laboratory. Projects can last for an entire semester, and many continue for a year or more.

Once you have found the UROP project that is right for you, you need to decide what form of compensation you hope to receive.

UROP Options include:

Be sure to discuss your options with your faculty supervisor, as s/he may have a preference for one mode or another. Then, since UROP is an academic program, you must complete UROP application, so that we can evaluate the content and scope of your planned research. See the Applying for UROPs section for complete details.

Some Things to Consider

If you have questions or concerns about your options, please contact UROP staff in the Office of Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming (UAAP) for advice and assistance.

The Benefits of UROP:

See the Find Projects and Apply section to learn how to get involved