The Los Alamos Summer School is a ten-week summer program for undergraduate physics students held in Los Alamos, New Mexico under the auspices of the University of New Mexico (UNM) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The School's principal aims are to expose the students to frontier research in physics and to provide training and encouragement to them in their pursuit of careers in physics and related areas. About 20 participants are selected from a pool of applicants based on their responses to a web-based application form, their college transcripts, and two letters of recommendation. Of these, approximately 10 students are supported by NSF and 10 by DoE/LANL. A stipend is given to each student to cover cost of living, transportation, and tuition for a special UNM graduate course, basically the student's project, with credit of 3 semester hours, into which the student is automatically enrolled. The students are given lectures by experts from UNM and LANL as well as by distinguished visitors, on topics in frontier areas of physics and applied physics including biophysics and quantum computing. They also participate in weeklong symposia on such subjects as astrophysics, condensed matter, particle physics, and atomic, molecular, and optical physics as well as applied physics (including biophysics, lasers, and quantum computing). Most of the students' time is spent on individual research projects with mentors from the senior scientific staffs of LANL and UNM, working on topics of mutual interest. Final reports by the students on their summer research projects are published by LANL in a LA-UR report. Attention is paid to making the experience as enjoyable as possible, and the students share a number of extracurricular activities. The site is co-funded by the Department of Defense in partnership with the NSF REU program and by the NSF Physics Division.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Physics (PHY)
Application #
Program Officer
Kathleen V. McCloud
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of New Mexico
United States
Zip Code