These programs are designed to help students develop the skills to benefit from participation in research and provide entry-level experiences.

All Majors

CURE is an acronym for "Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience." It is a novel form of classroom based courses that offer students hands on experience doing original research and offer faculty the opportunity to generate new information within their discipline.

What is the value of a CURE?

The McNair Research Academy aims to better prepare students for careers in undergraduate research by increasing their exposure to institutional knowledge, connecting them with opportunity and support programs, providing peer mentorship, and cultivating a sense of scholarly identity early on in their undergraduate degrees. Seminars are held once a month for a year, after which students will be ready to apply to various summer research opportunities such as the CU Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) Student Grant, or the National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) programs. Admission is welcome to all students, and first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students are especially encouraged to join!

The Build Your Path program helps first-generation students develop the skills to build their own pathway to a successful post-graduate career.

STEM Majors

STEM Routes is a graduate student-led organization which works to create an inclusive, supportive community for students in STEM.  We provide mentorship, professional development workshops and research training year-round.

What is STEM Routes?

College of Engineering & Applied Science

YOU'RE@CU is an opportunity to gain practical research experience in engineering by linking undergraduate students with a graduate student mentor.

Spring Break for Research is a one-week program through the BOLD Center and provides an opportunity for undergraduates to gain research experience and connect with a graduate student mentor.


These programs are also designed to help students develop skills by engagement in experiential learning and provide entry-level opportunities. Some aspects may require prior experience and a greater time-commitment.

All Majors

The McNair Scholars Program prepares undergraduates for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. McNair participants are either first-generation college students with financial need, or members of a group that is traditionally underrepresented in graduate education and have demonstrated strong academic potential.

CU PIIE connects students interested in civic engagement with paid summer internships at non-profits and government agencies. PIIE has provided more than 100 internships in fields ranging from animal welfare to education, health, law, sustainability and more.

Through Level Up, first-generation students will work on teams to apply their education, skills and knowledge in real-world situations. Career Services creates teams from across campus and pairs them with companies operating in Colorado to complete these projects.

STEM Majors

BSI Scholars funds students working as research assistants in labs and runs professional development trainings to complement the research skills students gain. Undergraduates are not expected to have prior research experience (unless applying for an award at the CU Anschutz campus). Meet with an undergraduate BSI Scholar Ambassador for advice from a student currently doing research!

Meet a BSI Scholar Ambassador

The Beckman Scholars Program offers an in depth research experience to exceptionally talented, full-time CU Boulder undergraduates in the biological sciences.

College of Engineering & Applied Science

In the DLA Program, undergraduate engineering students earn hourly wages while engaging in research with college faculty and graduate students. Positions are announced in late March, and applications are accepted through early May for apprenticeships during the following academic year. 

In CU SPUR, undergraduates earn hourly wages while engaging in research with college faculty and graduate students. Positions are advertised in late February, and applications are accepted through the end of March for positions for the upcoming summer term.

College of Arts & Sciences

Studio Lab was officially launched in 2020 to provide top-notch hands-on research training for undergraduate students. We admit undergraduates as Studio Lab scholars who are matched with a research mentor and paid to work as research assistants. We also host social events and professional training sessions.

The Community Scholars Program provides a unique learning opportunity for undergraduate students to experience first-hand the dynamics of working within city government and community-based organizations. The internship experience is enriched through weekly seminars and briefings with leaders from the community.

Innovation Ecosystem

These programs provide community, instruction and resources to support innovation and entrepreneurship.

The iGem (international Genetically Engineered Machine) program is the premier student competition in synthetic biology. The CU team has included undergraduate students from both Arts & Sciences and Engineering. They learn to use molecular biology techniques to create biological systems that help solve real world problems. Research on their project is performed over the summer and fall.

The Idea Forge is a prototyping facility focused on design and innovation. We are a flexible, cross-disciplinary collaborative space where students can imagine, design, create, and test products and solutions to meet a range of societal and customer needs. The space includes Design Center Colorado and supports student teams working on invention and innovation as part of courses, as well as design and development driven by entrepreneurial-minded individuals and service-oriented groups.

Catalyze CU is a summer-long startup accelerator program designed for CU Boulder ventures created by students, faculty and staff. It combines world class mentorship, funding and a dedicated co-working space to help the most promising ventures from across campus reach escape velocity—without taking any equity.

The NVC connects the CU Boulder campus with the Boulder community to develop and fund innovative ideas. Participants attend year-round events, network and collaborate with mentors to refine their ideas and form startup teams to pitch for funding (more than $100,000!) at the NVC Championships.

Startup Summer provides an energetic, high caliber boost to emerging company internships. This program surfaces students who are ready to enter the world of startups, innovation, and emerging companies. Interns at innovative companies across the Front Range and beyond gather weekly for entrepreneurial programming led by successful Colorado founders and C-level execs. Participants receive a curated tour of the startup ideation and creation process, build a venture with a team of their peers, and compete in an end-of-summer pitch contest for cash prizes.

EWB partners with developing communities to improve their quality of life through the implementation of environmentally sustainable, equitable, and economical engineering projects. In the process of working to advance developing communities, EWB promotes the development of globally aware and internationally responsible students and professionals. Our chapter at the University of Colorado at Boulder was the first chapter of EWB-USA. 

Hack CU brings together students of various backgrounds and experience levels at our events, which primarily comprise workshops and hackathons. We're a team of like minded students with the same mission in mind: bringing people together to create a safe space for students to be inventive and creative!


These programs offer more specialized opportunities hosted in many campus units–such as departments, research centers and institutes.

Jewish Studies provides students with opportunities to collaborate with faculty on cutting-edge research projects.

UREDI: Undergraduate Research Experience for Diversity at IBS provides undergraduate students with hands-on experience in research, working together with an IBS-affiliated researcher. The idea of the program is for us to help train and mentor the next generation of social and behavioral scientists while promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion in such training.

Crown Institute Undergraduate Research Fellows are passionate about mental health and building a world in which every person thrives. The program provides the opportunity to learn about psychological science by doing research with close mentoring from world renowned faculty.

In the Dalai Lama Fellows Program students explore the use of mindfulness within leadership challenges such as marginalization, encountering ideological rigidity, gender disparity, cultural collisions, and ecological threat.

PIKE-PREP offers a multi-dimensional mentoring and research training experience to prepare underrepresented post-baccalaureate students to enroll and succeed in a top-tier PhD or MD-PhD program and commit to a career in biomedical research.

A special partnership with CU Boulder, NIST-PREP places undergraduates, graduate students and post-doctoral researchers in NIST labs to gain research experience alongside NIST scientists. Applicable majors include most engineering departments, biochemistry, chemistry and physics.

SOARS at NCAR is an undergraduate-to-graduate bridge program designed to broaden participation of historically underrepresented communities in the atmospheric and related sciences.SOARS invites students from multiple STEM disciplines–including chemistry, ecology, engineering, geography, mathematics, meteorology, physics, and the social sciences.

CIRES regularly posts open positions for undergraduates on their website.

LASP hires undergraduate student assistants for all areas and divisions, including administration, science analysis, data processing, mission operations, software development, education, and engineering.

Space Grant Consortium offers opportunities for 1st Year through Graduate students to apply what you have learned in class and give you the practical experience which will give you the skills employers need. Space Grant is an interdisciplinary program with students from various majors, working together on a team to accomplish a goal.

Boulder also hosts many NSF-REU sites, which provide research opportunities supported by a stipend, travel and living expenses.

NSF-REU Sites at CU Boulder 

More Engaged Learning

Check out these additional opportunities to participate in experiential learning on campus and beyond–and click the next tab for "community engagement" programs.

You can use Work-Study to fund a position working with faculty on research and creative projects.

Work-Study is need-based financial aid that allows students to earn money for college expenses by working a part-time job. Work-study jobs are funded by the federal and state government and include both on and off-campus positions. In order to determine eligibility for work-study, students must first submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

You can find internships and research positions on CU's Handshake.

Handshake is CU’s online recruiting tool used by thousands of employers. It’s also your free one-stop shop for starting your career journey. Handshake is available to all current CU students, regardless of your major or year. There are more than 20,000 employers on Handshake eager to connect with potential candidates!

You can find opportunities to volunteer with the Volunteer Resource Center.

Volunteer opportunities allow you to learn new skills and gain experience while making a direct impact that meets community needs. It is also a way to experience what it is like to work in different fields and pursue interests within or beyond your academic studies.