REU Application Information

Please fill out the online application:

Applications received by Feb 15th will receive full consideration.

In the essay section of the online application:

Please explain why you wish to participate in the REU program in Astrophysics. Make sure your essay contains the following information:

  • Your astronomical interests. What areas of astronomy are you interested in? Are there any projects listed on our web pages that are particularly interesting to you? If so, why?
  • Your professional goals. Are you considering a career in astronomy or related fields? Do you have plans to go to graduate school?
  • Your background and experience. Do you have any previous research or programming experience, even if not directly related to astrophysics? Are there any significant challenges you have had to overcome to get to your current academic position? Note that no previous research experience is necessary to be a successful applicant to our program.
  • Your goals for our REU program. What do you hope to learn and accomplish during our summer program? How will your participation in our program help you achieve your life- and career-goals?

Letters of recommendation:

We require two academic references (if you can only provide one please contact us via email). Your references will be sent a link when you submit your application which will be delivered to the email address you have specified in section three of the application. Please make sure the email address you enter is correct, and that your references are expecting that email (have them also check their “Spam” folder in case they didn’t see the email). Please give the following information to the individuals who have agreed to write letters on your behalf:

Thank you for agreeing to write a letter of support for your student’s application to our NSF-REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) program in astrophysics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. You will be sent a link to our online recommendation form when your student submits their application. Please note that we receive many applications, and the letter of recommendation is typically the most important part of a student’s application package. Please describe your relationship with the student, i.e. whether you have taught them in class, in private study, in the laboratory or through a research project. We would value information from you on how quickly they learn, how motivated they are, whether they can seek and take advice from peers and mentors, their written and verbal communication skills, their level of independence, how well they work in a group, and the extent to which you think they can grow professionally by involvement in an REU program.

Academic transcripts:

Electronic transcripts are required of all applicants. If your school does not offer electronic transcripts, please scan a paper copy and save it as a PDF for uploading to this application. You can only upload one file, and a newer file will replace the older one when uploaded. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted.

Full electronic submission is highly preferred, but if needed, transcripts and letters of recommendation may also be sent to:

REU program in Astrophysics
Attention: Dr. Ralf Kotulla
Department of Astronomy
University of Wisconsin-Madison
3511E Sterling Hall
475 N. Charter Street
Madison, WI 53706-1582

For further information, please email us at