The School of Science leads and participates in several initiatives and programs around the Institute to increase the diversity at MIT and in the STEM pipeline. For student groups and resources, as well as statements and missions for the various departments, labs, centers, and institutes within the School of Science, please see this page.

Jump to section

Scroll below for various outreach programs sorted by age (Note that some appear twice if multiple groups can get involved in the opportunity):


K-12 Opportunities and Outreach Programs

STEM Science Programs for Middle and High School Students

dynaMIT is a free, week-long science program for economically disadvantaged middle school students hosted on the MIT campus. The program focuses on inspiring students to be interested in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields through fun and educational activities, challenges, and projects.

Each summer, 80 high school students gather at MIT for the Research Science Institute (RSI). RSI is a free summer science and engineering program that combines on-campus course work in scientific theory with off-campus work in science and technology research. RSI scholars first participate in a week of intensive STEM classes with accomplished professors. The heart of RSI is the five-week research internship in which students conduct individual projects under the tutelage of mentors who are experienced scientists and researchers. During the final week of RSI, students prepare written and oral presentations on their research projects.

Math Summer, One-Day, and After-School Programs for Middle and High School Students

MIT hosts the Math Prize for Girls, the world’s largest mathematics competition for female junior high and high school students. Read more: “How do you do math like a girl?: ‘Mathletes’ show off their talent, passion, and leadership at the Math Prize for Girls.”

MIT PRIMES is a year-long program, in which high school students work on individual and group research projects and participate in reading groups under the guidance of academic mentors, usually graduate students or postdoctoral scholars.

PRIMES Circle is an after-school program for Boston-area public high school students that offers a mathematical enrichment curriculum (beyond high school math) and includes expository writing and making presentations, culminating at a year-end conference. The focus is to increase diversity through outreach to strong students with disadvantaged backgrounds and to develop their interests in mathematics, so they might consider the mathematics major in college.

√MathROOTS is a 14-day summer program hosted by MIT-PRIMES for promising high school students from underrepresented backgrounds or underserved communities who are interested in exploring creative topics in mathematics. Female undergraduate majors, graduate students, and academic staff are invited to participate as mentors in the Cambridge Girl’s Angle — a non-profit math club in Cambridge for young women in middle school years.

This 10-day training camp for the International Mathematics Olympiad occurs in partnership with the MISTI-Africa program. MIT students are invited to travel to Africa (currently: Uganda and Ghana) to teach these training camps for 20 to 40 students. Some attendees may go on to compete in the Pan-African Math Olympiad or the Ibero-American Math Olympiad.

Biology Summer Program for High School Students

The LEAH Knox Scholars Program is a two-year program with hands-on lab experience and mentorship in biology for low-income high school students of color providing a foundation for science education in college and beyond.

Materials Science Summer Programs Middle School Students

Since 1992, the MIT Materials Science and Engineering Center has operated a Science and Engineering Program for Middle School Students designed to familiarize young people with the field of materials science and engineering. In the course of hands-on explorations of the properties of various materials and the manipulation of those materials for specific applications, students learn basic materials science concepts. This program targets seventh and eighth grade students from a Cambridge public middle school. In the summer, a group of 16 students and the science teacher from each school spends a week on the MIT campus.

MIT Materials Research Lab is a co-sponsor of the  MIT Women’s Technology Program, a four-week summer academic and residential experience where female high school students explore engineering through hands-on classes, labs, and team-based projects.

Back to top


Undergraduate Opportunities and Outreach Programs

Biology and Neuroscience Summer and Winter Research Programs for Non-MIT Undergraduates

The Department of Biology, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Center for Brains, Minds and Machines at MIT offer a 10-week research-intensive summer research training program in the biological sciences, neurosciences or biomedical-related fields to non-MIT sophomore and junior science majors who have an interested in a research career.

Together with the Center for Brains, Minds and Machines, the Department of Biology offers a seven-day intensive workshop in January designed to introduce non-MIT undergraduate students to quantitative tools and programming languages used to analyze experimental data in biology and neuroscience. Registration is by invitation only for students and faculty from a limited number of institutions with MARC, RISE, and HHMI programs. Read more: “A week at MIT: Workshop on quantitative methods in biology draws diverse undergrads from across the country.”

Materials Science Programs for MIT Undergraduates

MIT MRSEC sponsors undergraduate involvement in MRSEC research through MIT’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). After consulting with a potential faculty supervisor, students submit written proposals for each term of UROP research. Once the proposal has been approved, the students join the faculty member’s research group. UROP students work part-time during the academic year, full-time during the summer.

Materials Science Programs for Non-MIT Undergraduates

The MIT MRSEC collaborates with the Materials Research Laboratory to offer a nine-week summer research internship program. The objective of the program is to provide undergraduates with an opportunity to immerse themselves in exciting materials research as part of a team of graduate students and postdoctoral associates under the leadership of MRL / MRSEC faculty.

MIT MRSEC collaborates with Roxbury Community College and with Bunker Hill Community College, both minority-rich two-year colleges, to engage community college students in current materials research during a nine-week summer program. The primary goal of this program is to encourage a significant number of community college undergraduates to pursue careers in science and engineering.

MIT MRSEC has established a new collaboration with the Universidad Metropolitana (UMET) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Participants include local students referred to MIT MRSEC by UMET faculty, spearheaded by Professor Juan Arratia.

Mathematics Summer and After-School Mentorship Programs for MIT Undergraduates

Female undergraduate majors, graduate students, and academic staff participate as mentors in the Cambridge Girl’s Angle — a non-profit math club in Cambridge designed to support young women in middle school years.

This 10-day training camp for the International Mathematics Olympiad occurs in partnership with the MISTI-Africa program. MIT students are invited to travel to Africa (currently: Uganda and Ghana) to teach these training camps for 20 to 40 students. Some attendees may go on to compete in the Pan-African Math Olympiad or the Ibero-American Math Olympiad.

Mathematics Summer Research Programs for MIT Undergraduates

The Summer Program in Undergraduate Research of the MIT Mathematics Department, is a program for MIT undergraduates founded in 1996 by Professor Hartley Rogers. SPUR is open to all MIT undergraduates, not just math majors.  Students in the program work full time for six weeks on original individual or joint research projects, depending on their preferences and availability. They are matched with a mathematics graduate student mentor with compatible interests. The graduate student mentor devises a research project, often in consultation with an MIT faculty advisor. 

SPUR+ is a new program, running in parallel with SPUR, but starting earlier to include three weeks of guided reading in preparation for research. SPUR+ students will work on projects in teams of two. SPUR+ program is specifically targeted for women and underrepresented minorities.

Back to top


Graduate Opportunities and Outreach Programs

Physics Post-Baccalaureate Program

The MIT Physics Bridge Program is a one- or two-year post-baccalaureate program at MIT to facilitate the transition to graduate school. Participation is open to physics students who have completed a bachelor’s degree and have participated in the MIT Summer Research Program. The Bridge Program is part of our effort to increase the number of PhDs awarded in physics to underrepresented minority students. Participants receive a 12-month stipend equal to that provided to MIT physics graduate students, and in addition are provided health insurance and pay no tuition. They take classes, join a research group, and receive mentoring to improve the likelihood for a successful graduate school application to MIT or other schools.

Brain and Cognitive Sciences Post-Baccalaureate Program

The Research Scholars Program in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences (BCS) is a two-year funded non-degree post-baccalaureate program for outstanding recent college graduates who plan to pursue a research career in neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, computational neuroscience or neuroengineering. This program is specifically designed to provide individuals from under-represented minority groups in a STEM field, first-generation college students, individual students with disabilities, from economically disadvantaged backgrounds or veterans, to conduct supervised research in any BCS lab of their choice, the opportunity to take courses at MIT, and immerse themselves in the MIT culture and its academic rigors, while gaining the knowledge and experience necessary to become competitive PhD applicants, and successful graduate students.

MIT-Wide Events for Incoming MIT Graduate Students

The CONVERGE mission is to increase the presence of underrepresented and underserved students in MIT’s graduate programs. To achieve this goal, CONVERGE hosts a four-day graduate school preview weekend on the MIT campus during the fall.

Interphase EDGE is a two-year scholar enrichment program which includes a seven-week summer session to help ease the transition to MIT and to build community among new students as well as programming during the academic year. The focus of the summer program is to give scholars an introduction to the MIT experience by exposing them to the rigors of a full subject load and to life on campus.

The DOW-MIT Access program is a two-day program to introduce talented undergraduate students to the opportunities for graduates of PhD programs in chemistry, chemical engineering, and materials science. The mission of the ACCESS program is to increase the diversity of qualified applicants to PHD programs in chemistry, chemical engineering, and materials science throughout the United States. ACCESS is a weekend of educational and informative events that will introduce talented sophomores, juniors, and seniors to the benefits of a graduate education in chemistry, chemical engineering, and materials science.

Mathematics Mentorship Program for MIT Students

Female undergraduate majors, graduate students, and academic staff participate as mentors in the Cambridge Girl’s Angle — a non-profit math club in Cambridge designed to support young women in middle school years.

Women in STEM Program for MIT Graduate Students

The Rising Stars program brings outstanding women at the graduate school or postdoctoral level together to give research talks, and attend panel discussions on presentation skills, the interview and tenure process, and issues involving work-life balance.

Back to top


Postdoctoral and Professorial Opportunities and Outreach Programs

STEM Program for Non-MIT Postdocs and Professors

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology established the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professor Program to enhance and recognize the contributions of outstanding scholars. The program honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by increasing the presence of minority scholars at MIT. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professors and Scholars enhance their scholarship through intellectual interactions with MIT peers and enrich the intellectual life of the Institute with their participation in MIT research and academic programs. Scholars are expected to be deeply engaged in the life of the Institute through teaching, research, and other scholarly interactions with the MIT community. Their presence gives them the opportunity to make a significant impact on the growth and awareness of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as the MIT community as a whole.

STEM Program for MIT Postdocs

The Rising Stars program brings outstanding women at the graduate school or postdoctoral level together to give research talks, and attend panel discussions on presentation skills, the interview and tenure process, and issues involving work-life balance.

Mathematics Mentorship Program for MIT Educators

Female undergraduate majors, graduate students, and academic staff participate as mentors in the Cambridge Girl’s Angle — a non-profit math club in Cambridge designed to support young women in middle school years.

Material Science Programs for Non-MIT Educators

The MRL MRSEC offers middle and high school science teachers an exciting opportunity for one or two summers to participate in cutting-edge materials research at MIT and design classroom material based on that research. Each teacher is matched with an MRL MRSEC faculty member and his or her team of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to carry out seven weeks of research in a laboratory on campus.

Massachusetts middle and high school science teachers are invited to participate in a one-week summer program partnering with MIT members. Work on design projects and see presentations by MIT faculty in physics, chemistry, and engineering with the goal of increasing knowledge, to provide exploration opportunities, and to develop teaching modules.

Back to top