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Undergraduate Summer Research Internship (SRI)

The MAOP Undergraduate Summer Research Internship (SRI) began in the summer of 1993. Since then, it has been a transformative experience for over 700 undergraduates. The purpose of the program is to provide undergraduates from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to conduct research on campus and to educate participants about graduate education. Students from a wide variety of academic disciplines spend ten weeks during the summer, working closely with a faculty mentor in a mentor/protege relationship to design, conduct and present a scholarly research presentation.

Students interact with other student researchers, faculty and graduate students in different areas of study, using state-of-the-art equipment, and attend seminars on the nature of graduate education.

Students also prepare to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and receive counseling on gaining admission to graduate school and available funding opportunities. In addition, the experience provides for a two day retreat, and provides students with the opportunity to enhance their personal growth and development.

Students devote at least 30 hours a week on their respective research projects and scholarly activities. At the conclusion of the program, students will present their research to their fellow SRI peers, faculty mentors, and guests. The research is presented using a poster format and oral presentation. This research symposium is the culminating event of the experience, and takes place during the last week of the program.

The program is open to undergraduate students from any two-year and/or four-institution from around the United States and territories. Participants must be U.S. Citizens or Permanent U.S. Residents. Participants are selected on the basis of academic achievement, commitment to pursuit of  graduate education, and match of interest with an available faculty mentor.

Since many SRI participants eventually enroll in graduate school at Virginia Tech or elsewhere, this program has been an especially effective way to invest in and prepare a talented, diverse group of students for enrollment in graduate programs. Previous participants have been very successful in obtaining graduate/professional degrees and in adding to the diversity of their institutions and within their professional fields.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who is eligible to participate in the SRI?
A: Undergraduates who have taken at least 24 hours of undergraduate credits. Applicants should be rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Seniors graduating in May or August 2023 are not eligible to participate. Applicants should have a GPA of 2.5 or higher.

Q: Can community college students participate in the SRI?
A: Yes, community college students can participate in the SRI.

Q: Will I be able to take a MCAT, GMAT, or LSAT course instead of GRE course?
A: No, all participants take the GRE course.

Q: Does the SRI cover travel to and from Virginia Tech?
A: No, the SRI does not cover travel.

Q: I am a Virginia Tech student or from a local college in the area and I have an apartment off campus. Will MAOP cover the cost of my rent off campus for the summer?
A: Unfortunately, MAOP does not cover the cost of housing if you decide to live off campus for the summer.

Q: Can I decide which residence hall I want to live in for the summer?
A: No, the MAOP staff will select the residence hall in which all interns live.

Q: May I have a single room in the residence hall?
A: No, all rooms are double occupancy, unless covid restrictions are still in place.

Q: Will I need to be vaccinated to attend SRI?
A: Yes, all participants must be vaccinated, unless a medical or religious waiver is approved by Virginia Tech.

Q: Will I have to do research during the weekend?
A: The faculty mentors create the work schedule for the interns. The MAOP Office does request that faculty allow the interns time to participate in the GRE course and workshops.  

Advantages of the MAOP Summer Research Internship

  • Gain confidence that you are capable of doing graduate level research and would be successful as a graduate student
  • Network with fellow peers, faculty mentors, other departmental members, administrators, and the general community
  • Allows you to prepare for the GRE
  • Learn how to enhance your leadership, presentation and communication skills
  • Learn about academic departments at Virginia Tech and their requirements for graduate study
  • Opportunity to interact with diverse students from around the US
MAOP, Multicultural Academic Opportunities Program

Program Duration

May 22-July 28, 2023

Application opened December 1, 2022 and closes on February 20, 2023.

Intern Support Includes:

  • Stipend of $3,000
  • Free on-campus room and board
  • Free and mandatory 10-week GRE preparation class
  • Participants are also provided with opportunities for weekend excursions and other activities

Items to have available before beginning application:

  1. Scanned copy of current college transcript with applicant's name and name of institution. Please cover any identification numbers, such as your social security number or school identification number.
  2. Name and contact information of references (faculty and research mentors)
  3. Responses to the following questions:
    • Why are you interested in research and what do you hope to learn?
    • What skills or knowledge do you bring to this internship?
    • How will this internship assist you with your career goals?

For additional information, please email