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Participation Considerations

UROP projects take place across the Institute in any academic department or interdisciplinary laboratory – both during the academic year and over the summer. Projects can last last an entire term, but many continue for a year or more.

A majority of projects take place on-campus, but occasionally opportunities to research off-campus, and there are also department-specific options to explore.

A number of compensation options are available and the decision to receive pay, credit, or volunteer should be discussed between students and their supervisors.

Some Things to Consider 

  • In a given term or summer, students may not receive pay and credit for the same UROP project. Likewise, paid UROPs must be funded by a single source in a given term (e.g. either fully funded by UROP or fully funded by faculty) and faculty cannot supplement UROP funded wages to pay a student more than the maximum UROP award or more than the standard UROP hourly rate.  Also, while UROP research may evolve into thesis work, students may not earn UROP pay or credit for thesis work during a term(s) in which they are registered for thesis credit.
  • If students participate in UROPs for pay or as a volunteer, and contribute 80 hours or more to the project during the given term, they are eligible to receive an undergraduate research notation (URN) on their transcript. This notation is added to transcripts at the end of the term.
  • For UROP students planning to work remotely in foreign countries, MIT has developed a framework for allowing eligible students to proceed with anticipated work from outside the US. These opportunities are only available for UROP students who are not otherwise expected to be on campus for in-person learning (for example, UROP students during the summer term who are not enrolled in other courses). Further information and eligibility criteria are detailed on the Remote Appointment Guidance page. 
  • IMPORTANT DETAILS FOR INTERNATINAL STUDENTS. International students are not eligible to volunteer for UROPs; UROPs must be undertaken for pay or credit only. While classes are in session during fall and spring terms, international students are subject to on-campus work regulations and may work at most 20 hours/week for all MIT positions combined (including UROPs and other on-campus jobs). USDHS currently views all credit UROPs as counting toward this 20-hour-per-week limit of on-campus employment.

    Students engaged in UROP activities while school is in session must be careful to count the hours they work/engage in UROP research activity as part of their on-campus work and keep track of hours so as not to exceed the 20 hours per week allowance of all on-campus employment activities combined.

    International students should consult the International Students Office (ISO) before accepting any UROP opportunity, as there can be implications to their student visa status. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with your ISO Advisor ( with any questions or concerns about planned UROP engagement BEFORE research begins.

    If you are a Wellesley international student choosing to pursue a paid research opportunity at MIT UROP, please consult with the Slater International Center to obtain proper off-campus work authorization  at least 2 weeks before beginning any paid research opportunity at MIT.

If you have questions or concerns about UROP options, please contact UROP staff for advice and assistance.