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Boston University Research in Science & Engineering

Boston University Research in Science & Engineering (RISE)

The Boston University Research in Science and Engineering (RISE) program offers rising seniors the opportunity to take a deep dive into STEM while enjoying the summer of a lifetime in the storied college town of Boston. This highly selective program draws 100 students from across the US for six weeks of interactive science in Boston University’s world-class labs. Students accepted into RISE are presented with two options; the hands-on research and mentorship of the Internship track, or the more structured research environment of the Practicum track. Either way, the Boston University Research in Science and Engineering (RISE) program is the perfect summer program for scientifically minded students.

Boston University Science Lab where students do their research

RISE Areas of Research


  • Astronomy
  • Biology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medical Laboratory Research
  • Neuroscience
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Public Health


  • Computational Neurobiology

The Internship

Of the two tracks offered by the Boston University Research in Science and Engineering (RISE) program, the Internship track is more hands-on and less structured. Students in this cohort are mentored by BU faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students. They can expect to spend 40 hours each week working on a research project with their mentor. Additionally, internship and practicum students come together one day each week for workshops focused on developing academic and professional skills.

Boston University Research in Science & Engineering Practicum

In the RISE Practicum track, students go by a set syllabus, starting each day with a two-hour lecture in the morning followed by four hours of group research in the afternoon. Experiments are specifically designed to introduce students to university laboratory protocols in computational neurobiology. In addition to joining their Internship peers for skill-building workshops each week, Practicum students enjoy weekly interactions with local biotech or pharmaceutical companies.

Poster Symposium

For both the Internship and the Practicum tracks, the highlight of the summer is the Poster Symposium. The symposium offers students the opportunity to practice essential communication skills as they share their research findings to an audience comprised of both colleagues and the general public.

RISE internship/Practicum students practice their chemistry skills at BU

The RISE Experience

While commuting to campus is allowed, Boston University encourages RISE students to enjoy the full college experience – dorm life included. Students in both RISE and High School Honors programs live together as a single community in BU’s Warren Towers residence hall. Centrally located Warren Towers is made up of three different towers, each consisting of dormitory rooms, study areas, and a TV lounge. Men and women live in separate towers. In most cases, two students live together, with the exception of a few single and triple rooms. Dorm rooms aren’t air-conditioned, so a fan is essential for surviving the humid Boston summer!

Students are only a short walk away from their dining hall, the Fresh Food Company at Marciano Commons. Restaurant-style meals, fresh desserts, and vegan and vegetarian offerings are all on the menu. The dining staff is able to accommodate special dietary requirements.

RISE and High School Honors students participate in a wide variety of academic, social, and service activities. Whether it’s a group outing to Newbury Street, a dorm movie night, or ultimate frisbee on the Boston Common, activities are all designed to help students build community as they get to know one another and the city of Boston.

Sample Activities

  • College writing workshop
  • Social media branding workshop
  • Mindfulness and meditation workshop
  • Boston Harbor sunset cruise
  • Trip to Hampton Beach
  • Red Sox game
  • Boston Duck tour
  • Greater Boston Food Bank service project
  • Weekly RISE workshops
  • Study tips and notetaking workshop
  • Computational chemistry seminar
  • Center for Career Development workshop
  • College admissions presentation
  • Panel overview of majors
  • Panels with BU students who majored in science, business, or humanities
  • “Ice Night” – Icebreakers and ice cream
  • Visit Faneuil Hall
  • Visit the Museum of Fine Arts
  • Visit Harvard Square
  • Shear Madness Comedy Performance
  • Visit the Institute of Contemporary Art
  • Performance by Improv Boston
  • Farewell dance
  • Cradles to Crayons service project
  • Room to Grow service project

Checking in and checking out

Residential students must check in on the third floor of Warren Towers. It’s essential to arrive by 4:00 pm on Sunday because a mandatory orientation session begins at 4:30 pm. If flight restrictions prevent an on-time arrival, it’s important to contact the Summer Terms High School Programs office at least one week in advance. Students receive their room assignments and room keys at check-in.

Commuter students check-in on Monday at 8:00 am to meet their program assistant and learn program policies.

In addition to these orientations, Internship track students have a program orientation at 10:30 am on Monday.

RISE officially ends at 3:00 pm on Friday, after the Poster Symposium. If travel arrangements require a student to stay an extra night, they have until 10:00 am the following Saturday to fully vacate Warren Towers. No exceptions can be made to this policy.

Check out procedures

  • Return the residence key and ask for a receipt.
  • Remove all personal belongings and trash.
  • Close and lock the windows.
  • Leave the room as clean as you found it.
  • Turn off the lights.
  • Lock the door.


The Boston University Research in Science & Engineering (RISE) program is open to rising high school seniors who are US citizens or permanent residents. Admission decisions are based on high school grades, the difficulty of courses taken, standardized test scores, essays, and two recommendations.

Tuition (2020 fees)

$50 – nonrefundable application fee

$4650 – tuition

$60 – service fees

$25 – Student Health Services (fee per visit)

$2734 – Room & Board (14 meals/week)

$2994 – Room & Board (19 meals/week)

Limited financial aid is available for the RISE program, based on financial need.

About Boston University (BU)

Privately founded in 1839, Boston University (BU) has grown to a total undergraduate enrollment of 18,515 in 2020. It’s one of the largest independent, nonprofit universities in the nation. The U.S. News and World Report listed it at #40 in its 2020 Best Colleges edition. Highly ranked graduate programs at BU include the School of Law, School of Management, School of Medicine, College of Engineering, and School of Education.

Final Thoughts

While the Boston University Research in Science & Engineering (RISE) program is costly and extremely competitive, it’s also an exceptional program with the capacity to spark tremendous academic, emotional, and social growth. Attending RISE will help make a student’s college application stand out, while also preparing her for the full university experience. After completing the RISE program, participants will come away with deeper experiences to mine when it comes time to craft the perfect personal statement. At IvyCollegeAdmit, we can assist students with summer program applications, including RISE.

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