Taking Undergraduate Research to the Next Level

Since 1969, MIT’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) has offered undergraduates a chance to partner with faculty on cutting-edge research. For undergraduates who want a deeper research experience, SuperUROP was launched in 2012 by the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). The year-long program, which enables students to strive for publication-worthy findings, has since expanded to include students from across the School of Engineering.

SuperUROP enables juniors and seniors to tackle complex problems and affords them the time, training, resources, and guidance necessary for deep scientific and engineering inquiry. In addition to their participation in a year-long research experience, SuperUROP students enroll in a course titled Preparation for Undergraduate Research, and are given access to facilities otherwise open only to graduate students. At the end of the academic year, SuperUROP students receive a certificate in advanced undergraduate research within a designated focus area.

The unique relationship that develops between a SuperUROP student and his/her faculty advisor often provides a valuable jump-start for graduate school, a position in industry, or founding a company. “The SuperUROP program was the reason behind my decision to attend graduate school,” says EECS alumnus Rishi Patel ’14, now a graduate student in applied physics at Stanford University. “Over the course of the year, I got a terrific opportunity to interact with my supervisor and my mentors in the Quantum Photonics Laboratory. Looking back, the feeling of finally getting an experiment to succeed, after months of struggle, was one of the highlights of my undergraduate career.”

Published in April 2016.