The Berkeley Physics Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (BPURS)

Student in hardhat at an experiment site

Berkeley Physics Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (BPURS) offers the opportunity for a student to partner with a faculty member to apply jointly for funding ($750 per semester) for a research project. The project can be mentored by postdocs or graduate students, under the supervision of a faculty memberInterested students apply and the faculty member must sign off on the acceptance of the student through BPURS into their lab. 


1) Only declared and registered Physics majors are eligible.

2) A student must find a professor in the Physics Department who will act as a sponsor. The professor and student should complete the application form and commit to a proposed deliverable. Students accepted into the program will be notified ASAP.

How to apply

To be a BPURS scholar, you need to be self directed to pitch a research project idea to a member of the faculty. The project may be a research paper, authorship on a published paper, or a senior thesis.  You will need to write a one- to two-page plan outlining the deliverable for your research. Scholars will be selected for the program by a committee of Physics faculty, based on evaluation of the student's enthusiasm and record, quality of the project, and level of involvement of the professor. Faculty take their mentoring roles very seriously and will only sign-on students who are committed to their physics projects.

Application and deadline information

The BPURS program is run by the Department of Physics. Applications in the form of a GoogleForm link will be sent out to students on the Physics major email listserv before the fall and spring semesters begin. The link changes each semester so students should contact an advisor if they need the link send to them.

The deadline for the fall application is always the second Friday in September. The deadline for the spring application is always the first Friday in February. For additional information on how to apply see a Physics Undergraduate Advisor

Then what?

At the end of the semester, the professor will sign off if the deliverable is complete. The deliverable  must be submitted to 368 or 376 Physics North by the last day of finals. The student must participate in the Undergraduate Poster session in the Spring. The $750 stipend will be awarded after the event. Regardless of which semester you become a Scholar, you will be expected to present a poster at the Undergraduate Poster Session to be held in early April.

Some students opt to apply for BPURS in both the fall and the spring semesters, in which case they would earn a $1500 stipend after the April poster session. It is possible for an honors thesis student to be getting credit for that research, and receiving a BPURS stipend for that same work. 

Check out this list of projects by past BPURS Scholars!