Carnegie Mellon University

SURA - Summer Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship

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 on campus 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, and students must be in Pittsburgh for the entirety of their SURA experience.

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

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

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

Course enrollment requires permission from our staff through the Apprenticeship Verification Form.  Forms must be submitted by June 4th.  You cannot register on your own for the course.

Eligibility requirements for the SURA experience include:

  • Currently enrolled with undergraduate first-year or sophomore status.  Current juniors may be eligible and should contact Richelle Bernazzoli to verify.
  • Baccalaureate degree in progress
  • Little or no previous experience in research or creative inquiry at Carnegie Mellon 
  • Return to Carnegie Mellon as a full-time student in the fall semester following the SURA experience
  • Students are limited to one SURA experience over the course of their undergraduate career

 Requirements for enrolled students:

  • Complete the required Internship Verification form (below) in consultation with faculty mentor
  • Decide with your faculty mentor the weeks you will spend on campus to complete the necessary research hours
  • Attend workshop modules during one of the following sessions (you will be assigned a session based on the weeks that you have determined you will be on campus, but you must be on campus for both dates listed for either Session 1 OR Session 2):
    • Session 1: June 4 and June 18
    • Session 2: July 10 and July 24
  • 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 facuty 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
  • Once you have a confirmed commitment, complete the required Apprenticeship Verification Form in consultation with your faculty mentor