How do I apply?

The application is available HERE.  A paper application for the Shared Big Ten Academic Alliance Application is not available.

Can confirmation emails be lost in a spam filter?

Unfortunately this may occur. Please exempt "" from your spam filter.

If this does not solve the issue, please email SROP Coordinator.  Include your name and a description of the problem.

I am a freshman, can I apply to the program?

The program is targeted at sophomores and juniors.  While any undergraduate student can apply, your chances of being accepted are greater if you have had some coursework preparation in your proposed area of research.

I am a senior, can I apply to the program?

It depends.  You must be returning to complete at least one semester of undergraduate education after completing the SROP experience.

I am an undocumented or DACA student, can I apply to the program?

Undocumented and DACA students are not eligible to apply using the Shared Big Ten Academic Alliance Application.  Contact the campus SROP Coordinator to learn more about eligibility requirements for campus applications.

I am not a member of a minority group. May I still apply?

Yes.  The program seeks to increase graduate school access for students from groups underrepresented in graduate education, including minority students, first-generation college students and students from low-income families, regardless of race or ethnicity.  

Is there one application form for all of the program sites?

No.  Some participating universities accept the Shared Big Ten Academic Alliance application while others use a campus-specific application.  You can see which application each Big Ten Academic Alliance SROP campus uses HERE.

When is the application deadline?

The online application must be completed by FEBRUARY 10.  This portion is completed by the applicant.

Two faculty recommendations must be entered online by March 1.  This portion is completed by the recommenders.

How do I secure references for recommendations?

Early in the application process, visit your references during office hours or schedule an appointment to discuss your SROP plans and your graduate school goals.  Give your references a short resume of your experience and areas of interest.  Remind them about a project or paper you completed in their class.  What grade did you make?  Was there something about that project that stands out?

Can I submit my application before my letters of recommendation are submitted?

Yes, submitting your application will not affect your recommenders' ability to submit their letters of recommendation as they are two different processes.

How many recommendations can I submit?

Only two online recommendations will be accepted.

How do my recommenders submit their online recommendations?

The online letter of recommendation process enables you to send a request via email to your recommenders and provides them with the information and link to submit their recommendation to your application file.

Can the email request be lost in a spam filter?

Unfortunately this may occur. Contact your recommenders and inform them that they will be receiving a request for a letter from "".  Ask them to exempt this address from their spam filter.

If you are a recommender experiencing difficulties in completing your recommendation, please email SROP Coordinator.  Include your name and a description of the problem.

Can my recommenders mail in their letters of support?

No.  All recommendations must be submitted online in the application system.  Hard copies and letters sent via email will not be accepted.

Do I need to upload a transcript for each university?

No.  You only need to upload one transcript to our secure application system for university representatives to view. All transcripts must be saved as a PDF and uploaded by the applicant.

I’ve attended more than one undergraduate institution. Do I need to upload a transcript from each one?

Yes. You must upload a transcript from each university you have attended.

Can I upload an unofficial transcript?

Yes.  You may be asked to provide an official transcript if you receive an offer.

How many schools may I select?

There is no limit to the number of schools you can select.  Be aware that schools give priority to applicants who present a good match to their graduate programs.  You should research the individual programs to see which are good fits for your goals and interests.

I have more than one area of interest, should I include them all?

Yes.  Please provide as much information as you can to aid the institutions in the selection process.  It is also best to be as specific as possible, in order to appropriately match you with a faculty mentor.

I’m having problems with my application, what do I do?

Email the SROP Coordinator.  Include your name and a description of the problem.

When can I expect to hear from the institution(s)?

Offers will be made on a rolling basis (that is, continuously throughout the process, not necessarily after the application deadline).  Most placements will be made by late March.  If you have questions about your status, please reach out to the SROP Coordinator on the campus you have a strong interest in attending to find out if their selection process has closed.  (Note: For the University of Minnesota, please contact the appropriate University of Minnesota summer research program.)  Once all positions have been filled, the Big Ten Academic Alliance will send a notice to students who did not receive an offer.  This notice will be sent via email in mid May.

How long do I have to wait before I accept an offer?

Students who receive an offer must adhere to the offer guidelines established by the university making the offer.  Please pay close attention to the dates and details in your offer letter.  All Big Ten Academic Alliance universities, regardless of application source, have agreed to a March 15 deadline for binding decisions.  A campus may ask you to make a decision prior to this date; however, your decision is NON-BINDING.  If you fail to accept your offer by the March 15 deadline, the campus may rescind the offer.  Prior to March 15, however, the campus cannot rescind an offer unless you have explicitly declined it.

Campuses review applications and make offers at different times and may make offers after March 15.  Offers made AFTER March 15 can only be made to you if you have not accepted any other SROP offer, your decision with the other institution is binding.  In this case, applicants must adhere to the offer guidelines established by the institution making the offer.

Once I accept an offer, can I change my mind and go to another institution?

Before the March 15 deadline for binding decisions, yes.
After the March 15 deadline for binding decisions, no.

If you are considering multiple campus programs, it is courteous to inform an institution that makes an early offer that you are awaiting an offer from other schools.  We encourage you not to hold onto multiple offers while waiting to hear from every institution.  For example, let’s say you applied to A, B, C, and D universities.  You received an offer from B and C. You know that A is your first choice.  Given a choice between B and C, you definitely prefer B.  We encourage you to decline the offer from C so that another student can receive an offer for the space that you declined.

To continue the example, let’s say that you received an offer from D.  You are still holding out for A, but you know that B is still your preference over D.  Decline your offer from D while you wait to see if A will accept you.

This courtesy will enable more students to receive offers for a great research opportunity, and your program staff and mentors will be impressed with your professional and polished communication.

Who do I contact with questions?
You should contact the Big Ten Academic Alliance SROP Coordinator.