Summer 2018, May 29 to July 20

Department of Statistics & Data Science

Carnegie Mellon University

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The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience in Statistics provides participants with hands-on experience working with real data, on real problems, in a stimulating, collaborative, and supportive environment.

The Department of Statistics & Data Science at Carnegie Mellon University is world-renowned for the quality and depth of its collaborations with disciplines ranging from astronomy to genetics to neuroscience to education to finance. Participants in this program will engage with the faculty and graduate students actively involved with this research, and the projects for the program will be derived from problems facing these researchers. Students will work in small groups, under the supervision of an advisor.

For 2018, the program theme is "Data Science for Justice." Projects will be built around outstanding problems in the forensic sciences, social mobility, social equality, and international development.

The program will start on May 29 and end on July 20.


Comments from students regarding past programs included the following:

"This was my first real experience working with real data. I was able to learn how to work with data on a level that I had not been exposed to before. It was also a very motivating environment being around like-minded students. I felt that I learned a lot about Statistics and it greatly increased my interest in the field."

"I feel very excited to utilize the knowledge and skills I gained from the program in future courses and projects. I also learned from the program that I am passionate about Statistics and should look more into attending graduate school."

"I enjoyed having access to professors who were knowledgeable about a variety of Statistics Ph.D. programs and who were willing to give advice to each of the students."

"I enjoyed the laid back atmosphere and the friendliness of CMU. The professors don't seem to project stress onto the students and it feels like true collaboration between the students and the faculty."


Participants will receive a stipend of $4000. This is provided to cover all travel and living expenses while participating in the program.

Housing Support: Students will be provided with housing through CMU's Go Research! program.


The program is open to any undergraduates who are based at U.S. institutions, entering their junior or senior year in Fall 2018. There are no specific course prerequisites, we only require an interest in learning about modern approaches to statistical inference in data-rich fields of application.

How to Apply

Registration for Summer 2018 is now closed. Check back in November 2018 for information regarding Summer 2019.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the prerequisites for the program?
There are no specific courses required, but it is anticipated participants will have taken at least one Statistics course. We are mainly looking for students who are interested in learning more about Statistics, and in participating in research.

Is the program only open to students majoring in Statistics?
No! We welcome applications from students from all areas of study. One of our objectives is to encourage students with curiousity of data analysis, even if they lack a strong background in that area. We are particularly interested in applications from students in the forensic sciences.

Can I receive academic credit for the program?
You should discuss this with your home institution. We certainly believe that the content of the program is deserving of academic credit; you will be learning about statistical methods and computing, among other things. We are happy to help with any paperwork, etc. needed to facilitate students receiving credit.

Can I apply if I am going to graduate in Spring 2018?
Unfortunately, no. The program is only open to students enrolled during the time of the program.

Can I apply if I am a currently a freshman?
We will consider your application, but keep in mind that preference will be given to juniors and sophomores. Of course, we encourage you to reapply next year!

Can I apply to work on a particular project, or with a particular professor?
No. You should not enter into the program with a specific expectation as to what the topic or advisor will be. The benefit of the program is the general exposure to graduate-level, collaborative Statistics research. We work to create three or four interesting projects around the program's theme, and allow students to express a preference when they arrive, after they hear details of the projects.

My semester does not end until after Memorial Day. Can I join the program late?
No. Unfortunately, due to the structure of the program, students must be in residence for its duration. And as a result of constraints in the schedules of the faculty, graduate students, and staff in the program, we are unable to move the state date later.

Please email us with additional questions at