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The dates for the STARS program are Sunday, June 24, 2018 to Friday, August 17, 2018. Applications will be accepted from November 30, 2017 to March 3, 2018.

Students can apply to STARS by submitting a complete application package to the Graduate Division. A complete application package includes:

  • Online Application
  • Personal Statement (max. 500 words) addressing the following points:
    • How did you become interested in your field of study?
    • What are your educational and career goals?
    • What experiences have contributed toward your preparation for your educational and career goals?
    • What are your research interests?
    • Why are you applying to STARS?
    • How are you a “match” for STARS?
    • Optional: Describe background characteristics that may have placed you at an educational disadvantage (English language learner, family economic history, lack of educational opportunity, disability, etc.) and how you overcame them.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • A copy of current Academic Transcripts (unofficial are OK)
  • Two (2) Letters of Recommendation from a counselor, faculty member, research mentor, principal investigator, etc. The people writing your recommendations should email their recommendations to urstars@ucsd.edu. The letter should address the following questions:
    • What is your relationship to the applicant? Please include information on how long you have known the applicant and the extent of your interactions.
    • What is the applicant’s current research topic? If not actively involved in research, what are the applicant’s interests?
    • Please comment on the applicant’s academic merit including his/her aptitude for pursuing a Ph.D.
    • In your opinion, why and how would the applicant benefit from participating in STARS?
    • What is it about the applicant that leads you to recommend him/her for STARS?
  • Three (3) preferred UCSD faculty mentors. The list of faculty mentors is available here.


After completing the application, click "SUBMIT" and you will receive a confirmation and a link of your submitted application. Please email us if you have any changes to your application.

Applicants who are selected to participate in the summer program will be notified of a conditional acceptance pending mentor/lab placement. Once accepted as a research intern by your faculty mentor, a final acceptance and enrollment form will be sent.

For questions or additional information email urstars@ucsd.edu or call (858) 822-3536.

Contact Us

Please contact us with any questions about the STARS program.

If you have ever participated in STARS, please fill out this survey