Q: What are my chances of getting a SURF?
A: This program is highly competitive and based on previous years, there is a 10-25% acceptance rate. We receive over 60 applications each year and the number of accepted applicants is based on mentor availability, capacity, and the quality of applicants.
Q: I’m currently a senior. Can I apply?
A: SURF is for continuing undergraduates only. If you will be a student during fall term, you are eligible to SURF.
Q: I’m a freshman. Do I have any chance of getting a SURF?
A: Typically, due to high competition for slots, freshmen are not offered SURFs; however, there have been exceptions in the past for qualified applicants.
Q: You ask for two letters of recommendation from people at my school. I haven’t been at the university long. All the classes I’ve taken had a large number of students, so my professors don’t really know me. What should I do?
A: This is an excellent opportunity to get to know your professors! Draft a short (one-page) resume of your activities, your interest in SURF, what you hope to do in your project, and make an appointment to meet with your advisor, a teacher, a resident advisor in your dorm, your dean, or others. Faculty members like to see students take such initiative, and they will probably be willing to write a recommendation.
Q: In at least one of my classes the teaching assistant (TA) knows me and my work better than the professor does. Can I ask a TA to write one of my letters of recommendation?
A: Yes. Only one of the recommendations may be from a TA. You may have a TA write one of the recommendations, but only if that person was the TA for a class you took (or are taking). Nevertheless, faculty recommendations will be considered more heavily.
Q: Can I start my SURF on a different date?
A: Yes. You can start early and leave sometime after the formal conclusion of the program. You can negotiate the details with you mentor. Nevertheless, the activities of the program are set, thus your presence is necessary to participate within the designated 10-week session.