Undergraduate students are encouraged to participate in QSE research through:
Caltech Summer Programs
- SURF: The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships program is one of the "crown jewels" of Caltech. Since 1979, SURF students have had the opportunity to conduct research under the guidance of experienced mentors working at the frontier of their fields. SURF Fellows will have the opportunity to conduct research, working closely with a Caltech faculty mentor, during a 10-week summer program.
- WAVE: Caltech's WAVE Fellows program aims to foster diversity by increasing the participation of underrepresented students in science and engineering Ph.D. programs and making Caltech's programs more visible and accessible to students not traditionally exposed to Caltech. WAVE Fellows follow a 10 week summer schedule culminating in a oral or poster presentation at the SURF seminar day. In addition to the research experience, the Fellows are included in professional development seminars, science talks, social and cultural activities and special field trips.
- QuantumSURF: Undergraduate students are invited to apply for the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Experimental Quantum Science and Technology (QuantumSURF). Through this program, summer students spend 10 weeks as part of experimental groups at Caltech. Applications may be submitted through either the SURF or WAVE programs at Caltech.
- Visiting students at the undergraduate level, outside of the regular summer programs (e.g., for an honors thesis), may join Caltech through the Visiting Undergraduate Research Program VURP. This program offers non-Caltech undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct research at Caltech, throughout the year, while enrolled at another college or university. These students must have the sponsorship of a Caltech faculty member and an application must be made through the Student-Faculty Programs Office at least 10-12 weeks in advance of the proposed visit start date.
Additional Programs for Undergraduates
Caltech hosts programs through its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts. These programs introduce current undergraduate students to an in-depth look into life as a graduate student through a series of presentations, discussion panels, mini-workshops and informal socials with Caltech faculty and students. Topics include choosing a research direction, building community, navigating the application process and more.
- FUTURE of Physics, sponsored by PMA and the Heising-Simons Foundation. The goal of FUTURE is to support the ambitions of aspiring young women* in physics, who will go on to become part of a diverse generation of scientific leaders. *We use a fluid definition of "woman" that is inclusive of trans and genderqueer women, femmes, and gender non-conforming/non-binary students.
- FUTURE Ignited includes all research areas at Caltech. The goal of FUTURE Ignited is to diversify STEM with students of color* who will go on to become incredible graduate students and scientific leaders in their respective fields. *We use an inclusive definition of "students of color" to mean those who have been historically underrepresented in STEM including, but not limited to, African American/Black, Latin(x), Native/Indigenous/First Nation, and Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.