Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (URAP)


Which courses should I report when filling out the online application?

The URAP application asks you to include your grades from up to ten classes you’ve taken at UC Berkeley or another college. (Please do NOT use this section to include grades from classes you took in high school, including AP courses). This is primarily for the use of faculty.

You can consider this section an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the skills and requirements necessary for the project. You need to make a judgment about what seems relevant to a project, based on your reading of the project description. Don’t feel obligated to include ten courses – ten is the maximum, not the minimum.

Do I need a letter of recommendation?

No. In fact, letters of recommendation are not accepted. Save your requests from your potential mentors for jobs or grad school applications!

Is there any advantage to applying early?

No – faculty have access to all applications beginning on the day of the application deadline, not sooner. However, please do not wait until the last moment to submit your application. This can lead to a lot of traffic on the server, and thus to delays when you try to submit. The deadline is usually on Monday of the second week of classes.

Should I contact the faculty I am interested in working with?

If you have questions about a project, it is OK to go to faculty office hours at the end of the preceding term. However, please do NOT contact faculty about URAP matters during the first weeks of the semester. Remember that faculty sign up for URAP because they want to use the URAP process and prefer not to meet with applicants before reviewing their applications. For most faculty, their priority in the first two weeks of classes is to get their courses running smoothly. Please be respectful of their time. Also, bear in mind that URAP faculty cannot commit to positions before they have reviewed all applications for the apprenticeship.

Why am I limited to three faculty applications?

There is not much latitude for “shopping” in URAP. You should choose only projects in which you are seriously interested. Don’t make three applications simply because you are allowed to. Often, students are accepted to more than one apprenticeship. While this may be flattering, it will put you in the position of turning down a position. This can be awkward for you; it’s also awkward for the faculty member who will now have to make another attempt to fill the position. It can delay the start of the research.

Why do I have to write a separate statement of interest for each faculty position?

You need to show each faculty member why you are interested in his or her specific research, and what aptitudes you think you might bring to the research. The fact that you have spent some time thinking about the project, and perhaps even doing some preliminary library or internet research, shows the faculty member that you are invested in learning—and prepared to work.

One faculty member has multiple projects. Do I have to make a separate application for each project?

No, you only need to submit one application per faculty member, but you should indicate which project you are most interested in. If there is only one that interests you, say so. If more than one project interests you, let faculty know your preferences.

For example, a faculty has two projects: Project 1 and Project 2. In the statement of interest, be specific about the project you are about to discuss by adding the header ‘Project 1’, then ‘Project 2’ to a new paragraph when you get to the second project.

My name has been posted on the message board as a candidate to be interviewed, but I haven’t received any further information yet. What should I do?

We instruct applicants to not contact faculty until the fourth week of classes to inquire about the status of their application. If you see your name listed on the message board, mentors usually follow up shortly with further instructions. However, IF you do not receive any further information about the next step within 24 hours of seeing your name, it is fine to inquire with the mentors by sending an email.