Physics & Astronomy Internships

Summer research internships give invaluable experience for future employment and graduate education.

Application deadlines are usually January through March.

These internships can be competitive, so apply to many (10-20!) of them to increase your chances.

Don’t fall for any of the common reasons that hold students back from applying:

  • Unless stated otherwise (i.e. that you must be a junior or senior), if you have completed some physics and math courses by next summer, you are qualified.
  • You may not already have the computer or technical skills you think you’ll need, but you will learn them!
  • You can ask the instructor for any class or lab you’ve done well in for a letter of recommendation.
  • If you’ve applied to opportunities previously and were not successful, try again!

This is not an exhaustive list of the internships available in physics & astronomy. Talk to your adviser about applying for internships in other areas of physics or your field of study.


National Science Foundation funded summer physics programs (Research Experience for Undergraduates) all over the U.S.:

There are many (>50) opportunities listed here, including projects in gravitational physics research that past TU physics students have participated in at the University of Florida

Department of Energy internships available through Oak Ridge National Lab:

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (Laurel, MD):

NIST Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

American Physical Society internship list

Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) at National Labs

Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) open to international students

Caltech LIGO Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships open to international students

CERN open to international students

SPS open to international students

Caltech WAVE Fellowships for underrepresented minority students who intend to pursue a Ph.D. in STEM

The program is extended, but not limited, to racially minoritized communities, women (in certain fields), first-generation college students, geographically underrepresented students, educationally or financially disadvantaged students, and students with disabilities. 

APS/IBM Research Internships for Women and Underrepresented minorities


Zed Factor Fellowship   FAQ: 

Ball Aerospace (Boulder, CO)

Northrup Grumman (multiple locations, including local)

Lockheed Martin  (multiple locations, including local)  Enter internship under Search Jobs

Astronomy, astrophysics & planetary science

NASA internships: Over 150 opportunities listed here!

If you do apply for one or more of the NASA summer internships, please let me know. We may be able to support one or two students to work at NASA through the NASA Maryland Space Grant.

National Science Foundation funded summer astronomy programs (Research Experience for Undergraduates) all over the U.S.:  Over 25 opportunities listed here!

Note that some of the options on the full list of over 50 physics NSF REU programs: may also have astrophysics or space physics options.

National Radio Astronomy Observatory (Socorro, NM, Charlottesville, VA)/ Green Bank Observatory (Green Bank, WV)
NAC program is open to international students:

Space Telescope Science Institute (Baltimore) open to international students:

Lunar and Planetary Institute (Houston, TX)

Berkeley SETI Research Center (Berkeley, CA) open to international students: 

Two great programs at top-notch astronomy institutions (U. Texas Austin and Harvard) have programs geared towards underrepresented minorities in astronomy:

Taurus Program  (open to non-US citizens)

Banneker Institute  (on hiatus for summer 2021)

For additional opportunities in astronomy, see this list of internships compiled by the American Astronomical Society

International Opportunities

Research Internships in Germany 

LEAPS/ESA Astrophysics Program for Summer Interns at Leiden Observatory (The Netherlands) 

ASTRON Summer Research Programme (The Netherlands) 


Note: Some U.S. programs are open to non-US citizens. Here’s list of programs available for international students, some of which are listed above, but not all!