Carnegie Mellon University

SURA - Summer Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship

Application deadline: May 20, 2024

IMPORTANT information for SURA 2024 participants:

  • Both in-person and remote work are permissible, depending on the nature of the research and guidance of the faculty research mentor. 
  • Regardless of modality, students are required to complete the virtual SURA workshops, and adhere to all timelines and due dates.

The Summer Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship (SURA) course awards tuition-free elective credit to undergraduates at Carnegie Mellon for existing faculty projects focused on undergraduate research or creative inquiry under the direction of a Carnegie Mellon faculty member. Students are responsible for finding a faculty member who is willing and able to supervise them over the summer. Tenure track, teaching track, research track, librarian track, and special faculty at Carnegie Mellon may serve as SURA mentors.  Research with faculty outside of Carnegie Mellon is not permitted.

SURA is a variable unit course with units awarded commensurate with hours worked as follows:

Units Minimum Hour Requirement
12 units 180 hours
9 units   135 Hours
6 units 90 Hours
3 units 45 Hours

Generally, SURA projects should follow the Summer Session All calendar, with research falling between May 13th and August 1st.

Housing is not provided with the apprenticeship.  Information on summer housing is available here.

Course enrollment requires permission from our staff through the Apprenticeship Application Form.  Forms must be submitted by the student by May 20, 2024.  Faculty must approve the form by May 22, 2024. You cannot register on your own for the course.  

Please note that adjustments to number of units WILL NOT be accepted after May 24, 2024.

Eligibility requirements for the SURA experience include:

  • Currently enrolled undergraduate students at Carnegie Mellon who have not yet participated in SURA or SURF. 
  • Baccalaureate degree in progress.
  • Little or no previous experience in research or creative inquiry at Carnegie Mellon. 
  • If you are on a leave of absence the semester in which you are applying for SURA (Spring 2024),  or are planning to be on leave during the semester after (Fall 2024), please contact our office.
  • Students are limited to one SURA experience over the course of their undergraduate career.
  • Students cannot combine SURA with SURG or SURF in the same summer.

 Requirements for enrolled students:

  • Attend workshop modules; these modules will be virtual and asynchronous, with the exception of the first orientation session, which will be virtual and synchronous.  Please see dates to the right.  
  • Based on the recommendation of your faculty mentor, either present your work at or attend the Meeting of the Minds Undergraduate Research Symposium
  • Follow human subjects guidelines where applicable

How to Apply

  • Locate a faculty mentor who will sponsor your SURA.  Suggested steps:
    • Review the bios of faculty members to see what kind of research they are doing and what might interest you
    • Meet with your academic advisor and let them know your interest; come prepared with specific names and general research areas of interest
    • Meet with a faculty member who you know through a course or one who may have a similar area of interest
    • Check our Looking for Research? page for a list of faculty-led projects that are seeking SURA researchers.
  • Decide with your faculty mentor the weeks you will work to complete the necessary research hours
  • Once you have a confirmed commitment, complete and submit the required 99-270 Summer Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Registration Form. Once submitted, the form will be sent to your faculty mentor for their approval.

Application Instructions

Please complete the 99-270 Summer Undergraduate Research Form.  In addition to your personal information you will need:

  • Project Description (up to 1400 characters maximum)
  • Number of hours per week that you will work on research
  • Start and end dates of your research
  • Number of units (see above chart)
  • Faculty mentor's AndrewID (please make sure you have the correct AndrewID as per the CMU Directory), or if working with a non-CMU faculty, the email address of the individual

All forms must be submitted by May 20, 2024.