The online 2020 SURF Application opens on Sunday, January 26, 2020You can access the application through the application portal here, select the SURF program. 

When are decisions made and how will I be notified?

SURF applications will be reviewed in March; e-mail notifications will be sent to selected and waitlisted candidates at the end of March/early April.

Please review the guidelines and instructions below carefully before completing the application.

You will need to prepare the following materials for your SURF application:

  • Unofficial transcript (copy from AC Data, pdf )
  • Statement of interest (1-2 pages double spaced, pdf) discussing your interest in research, your background conducting research, and how you think the SURF Program will help advance your academic or career goal. Previous research experience is not required.

You will also be asked to:

  • List your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd  choices for research areas. Click here for the 2020 SURF faculty and research areas. *If you are only interested in one discipline (i.e. Computer Science), then you can select that three times.
  • Please note that some areas of research receive many more applicants than we are able to place (placements are related to the number of mentors in each discipline). Note availability across disciplines for the 2020 SURF Session:
    • Astronomy: 3 Mentors
    • Biology: 7 Mentors
    • Chemistry: 6 Mentors
    • Computer Science: 2 Mentors
    • Geology: 1 Mentor
    • Neuroscience: 1 Mentor
    • Physics: 6 Mentors
    • Psychology: 2 Mentors
  • We encourage meeting with participating SURF 2020 mentors to discuss your interest in a summer project before you submit your application.


  • Can non-U.S. citizens/residents apply? Yes
  • Can I apply to the program if I am not an Amherst College student? No
  • Can a student submit an online application after the deadline? No
  • I made a mistake on my application, can I resubmit? Usually yes. Please contact the SURF Program Coordinator for details.
  • When are decisions made and how will I be notified? SURF applications will be reviewed in early March.  Email notifications may be sent out as early as late March/early April. 

SURF Information Panel and Mixer

Register to attend our special information session and reception planned for Wednesday, Feb. 5 from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. in the Science Center.