UMass Math REU 2021

The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program at UMass Amherst offers qualifying undergraduates an eight-week paid opportunity for conducting research in Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Data Science, or Statistics. Student participants will work full-time (from 9am to 5pm) with a faculty mentor either in a small research group or individually. Students will describe their findings in a written final report. We will follow all university guidelines about meetings and use of facilities, and due to the pandemic, we expect interactions will be online this summer.

Who can apply to the REU?

All Five College undergraduates are eligible to apply if they major in mathematics or a related field and have completed the lower division mathematics requirements (including UMass courses Math 131, Math 132, Math 233, Math 235 or equivalent). It is best if applicants have also taken some upper division courses in Mathematics/Statistics. The ideal time for students to engage in an REU is during the summer between junior and senior years. We occasionally provide REU support for rising juniors as well. Note that international students are eligible to apply for the program, though some grants are restricted to funding domestic students. Applications from underrepresented groups are welcome and encouraged!

When should you apply the REU?

Normally the department will send out an invitation in February to all undergraduate math majors. Applications are due on March 12, 2021.

How do you choose a mentor?

It is not necessary for applicants to identify a mentor or a project ahead of time. If you are accepted into the program, we will do that for you. Occasionally students are invited by a professor to participate, and in such cases, the student should still file an REU application, indicating the project and mentor on the application form. Students are encouraged to visit the page before filling out the application form to indicate preferences about a research area or a mentor. If you are interested in data science, visit to see opportunities here in that subject and mention that interest in your application.

How to apply to the REU?

Please fill out the online application. We also need two letters of recommendation, with at least one from an instructor in a recent course in mathematics or statistics. If you are interested in working through TRIPODS, please mention that in your application.

Ask your recommenders to upload their letters at

At least one letter must come from an instructor of a recent course in mathematics or statistics.

What happens after I apply?

Review of applications will begin after the deadline date. Offers will be sent by email. If you receive an offer from us, we expect to receive a response from you regarding acceptance within a week. If you are on the wait list, we may be able to offer a position if any spots open up. We expect to complete the entire process by mid April.

When will the REU project begin and end?

Generally, the REU program runs for 8 weeks during June and July. Occasionally, some students can make small adjustments to this schedule in consultation with the faculty mentor and REU Coordinator.

What about housing?

The department does not provide housing for the program. Students are responsible for making their own housing arrangements.

How much is the stipend?

We expect it to be $4000.

What are the sources for REU funding?

REU stipends are made possible through a combination of sources. One source is a generous donation by Joan Barksdale, an alumna of the UMass Amherst Department of Mathematics & Statistics. Research grants of department faculty fund some additional positions.

What is the REU Project Report?

Students will record their work in a written report due at the end of the summer program. Thus, significant time during the summer is allotted to writing the report. This is a very important part of the research training. Students are responsible for completing their reports on time. Files in pdf format containing your report should be sent to with subject line "Final REU report" before the completion of the project.

Will the REU be in-person or online?

We will follow all university guidelines about meetings and use of facilities, and due to the pandemic, we expect interactions will be online this summer.

Are there other REU opportunities at UMass?

Yes like the Lee Science Impact Program (deadline February 28, 2021)