The Rapidly Evolving COVID-19 Situation

The Science Internship Program team is committed to the health and safety of our students, mentors, faculty, and staff. The well-being of all those affiliated with our program is our highest priority.

Update (April 17, 2020): The University of California Santa Cruz campus leadership has directed the SIP team to operate the program entirely in remote/online mode in summer 2020.

We understand that there may be concerns about program deposits and fees. All requests from interns for COVID-19-related cancellations and refunds will be considered should that be necessary.

All changes to policies will be communicated here and below in the informational areas of this page.

In community and health,

The SIP Team

2020 Application Portal

The 2020 application portal opened on Monday, March 2, 2020 and, on March 18, 2020, the deadline was extended to Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 5:00 PM PDT but the application portal is now closed for the 2020 edition of the program. The teacher recommendation deadline was extended to Friday, March 27, 2020 at 5:00 PM PDT. The teacher recommendation requirement was relaxed as of March 17, 2020 such that only one teacher recommendation was required to make applications complete.

These changes were intended to accommodate the impact that widespread school system closures due to COVID-19 have had on students and teachers.

The admission offer notification date has been changed to Friday, April 3, 2020.


Students be at least 14 years of age on the program start date of June 8, 2020 (at least 16 years of age for certain research project placements) and currently enrolled in high school. While many SIP interns are “rising seniors” (in the summer between junior and senior year), this is not a requirement. Students who expect to have graduated high school by this summer are generally ineligible. Most students accepted into SIP will be from Bay Area high schools. Out-of-area students will generally fall into one or more of the following three categories: (1) those who use weekday-housing and have a clear plan for local weekend housing, (2) those who use full-week housing when available (in both cases, the students will have to overcome the logistical challenges associated with a minor’s participation in a remote summer program), and (3) those placed into remotely-mentored projects (there is a limited number of such projects available).

A limited number of partial and full need-based scholarships are available. Scholarship requests will be considered after admission offers have been made. We encourage interested students to apply regardless of their financial situation; every effort will be made to provide financial assistance.

For questions about disability-related accommodations, please contact the program staff at

Key Dates for 2020

Application portal opens March 2
Application deadline March 25 (5 PM PDT)
Recommendation form deadline March 27 (5 PM PDT)
Admission offers emailed by 5PM PDT April 3
Admission offer acceptance & deposit deadline April 10 (5 PM PDT)
Full payment and registration form deadline May 8
Online component of program June 8–19
Kickoff and orientation June 21
In-person component of program June 21–August 15
Final presentation day August 15

Program Costs for 2020

Application fee (non-refundable) $60
Deposit to hold spot $400
Remainder of academic program fee ($4,000 minus $400 deposit) $3,600
Optional weekday dorm housing fee per week for up to 8 weeks
[full-week dorm housing fee per week: $875 (out-of-area interns)]
Optional weekday shuttle fee per week for up to 8 weeks
[Mon AM/Fri PM housing shuttle fee per week: $65]

A limited number of application fee waivers will be available upon request. Need-based scholarship requests will be considered to cover all or part of the academic program fee, dorm housing fee, and shuttle transportation costs.

Step by Step: Application to Enrollment

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the following steps are completed in a timely manner:

  • 1. Application
  • Submit application via application
    portal and pay application fee by
    deadline (March 20, 2020)

  • Include research area preferences and associated brief essays, personal statement, unofficial transcript, names/emails of two references, name/email of a high-school official, etc. Ensure that the teacher/mentor recommendation forms are submitted by the March 20, 2020 deadline.
  • 2. Acceptance of Offer
  • Accept admission offer online and pay
    deposit or submit scholarship
    request by deadline (April 10, 2020)

  • A non-refundable deposit is required to hold the student’s spot, but the deposit will be waived initially for students who request scholarships. Initial housing and transportation selections, scholarship requests and associated information must be submitted by the April 10, 2020 deadline.
  • 3. Full Payment/Registration
  • Pay rest of academic program fee and
    optional* housing/transportation fees and
    submit forms by deadline (May 8, 2020)

  • *Dorm housing optional; many interns commute daily to UCSC instead; use of SIP shuttle optional. Housing fee covers room and board; available on weekdays (full week housing available for out-of-area interns only). Health, liability waiver, and other forms are due by the May 8, 2020 deadline.

Selection Criteria

Students will be selected based on their level of interest in the subject to which they are being matched for research project placement, motivation to learn new concepts, and capacity for analytical thinking. Many of the research projects are computational in nature; in these cases, it is desirable that the student have some prior computer programming experience. Preference may be given to returning SIP students and to students who are willing to commit to working full-time for all 10 weeks of the program (2 weeks online, 8 weeks in person).

Answers to Questions

If you have additional questions about the SIP application and enrollment process, please contact the program staff at

For urgent or time-critical matters only, you may contact the program staff at: (831)459-4440, but please keep in mind that email is likely to be answered more promptly than voicemail.