Our department offers many research opportunities for middle and high school, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as high-school teachers, industrial scientists and engineers. In the information below we invite you to explore some of these opportunities and find out information on how to apply:

Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF-REU program)

What is REU?

REU is a program sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and is organized at Penn by the Laboratory on the Research of the Structure of Matter (LRSM) and by the Nano-Bio Interface Center (NBIC).

REU program organized by the Laboratory on the Research of the Structure of Matter


REU program organized by the Nano-Bio Interface Center


Opportunities for Middle and High School Students

Research Experience for High-school Teachers (NSF-RET program)

What is RET?

RET is a program for high-school teachers sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and organized at Penn by the Laboratory on the Research of the Structure of Matter (LRSM).


Physics 137 (Community Physics Initiative)

What is the Comunity Physics Initiative?

This is an Academically Based Community Service Course (ABCS). It will be aligned to the Philadelphia School District curriculum in introductory physics at University City High School (UCHS). The UCHS curriculum roughly parallels the contents of first semester introductory physics (non-calculus) at Penn.

We will also be working with the Physics class at Horace H. Furness High School in South Philadelphia.  The curriculum for Furness students who will be visiting Penn at the rate of about 1 day a month is here. 

Penn Summer Science Academy (PSSA)

What is PSSA?

PSSA Physics is a four-week program that focuses on modern physics with an emphasis on hands-on experience and laboratory work. There is no requirement of a previous physics course, although typically about half of our students have taken one prior to attending PSSA.

Women Interested in Studying Physics (WISP)

What is WISP?

Women Interested in the Study of Physics (WISP) is a group of undergraduate and graduate physics students, research scientists, and faculty at the University of Pennsylvania. This group is dedicated to supporting women studying science, and physics in particular. WISP members participate in social and educational programs designed to promote interaction among the women in the Physics department, and to raise awareness about the experiences of female scientists.


What is Quarknet?

QuarkNet is a six-week+ program for four local high-school students and one local high-school teacher/mentor to work with the High Energy Physics experimental group to build and use particle detectors. The program is very hands on with lots of electronics, detectors, software and firmware.

Information on the Penn program plus application information is available at:

www.hep.upenn.edu - the Quarknet program information is available at the pulldown link on the right.

Information on the program at the national level plus interesting background material on particle physics is available at:



iTunes U

The Physics and Astronomy department is currently creating free content that can be viewed on iTunes.™ Follow the link below to view download movies (iTunes™ is required):

« Penn Physics & Astronomy @ iTunesU »


Alternate interface for viewing Physics demonstrations:

« Penn Physics & Astronomy on Vimeo »