STScI Logo

Space Astronomy Summer Program
SASP Application Information

Space Astronomy Summer Program

Please consider us for 2017!

Who is the program for?

The SASP is aimed at college undergraduates between their junior and senior years. However, we also accept exceptional students in earlier years and beginning graduate students. If you think you would benefit from our program, you are encouraged to apply. The program is open to students from the US and other countries, at all levels of undergraduate and graduate study, but with preference to the above categories.

Our experience shows that upper division undergraduates gain the most from the experience. Nine to ten weeks is a short time within which to complete a project, and we find that the following experiences or qualities can be helpful:

  1. Hands-on experience with astronomical data and analysis.
  2. The ability to work independently.
  3. Confidence in one's own limits and knowing when help is needed.
  4. A strong background in astronomy, mathematics, and/or physics.

None of these is in itself a requirement, and we welcome students without prior research experience. If this coming summer is your first experience with astronomical research, we hope to make it inspiring and enjoyable. We are looking for bright, motivated individuals who can take full advantage of an unique opportunity.

How can I apply? What information is needed?

Please go to our on-line application submission web page (the link is at the bottom of this page). Your application will consist of three parts:

  1. Creating a profile with basic information (name, contact information, academic background, etc.).
  2. An essay of 500 to 1,000 words.
  3. Two letters of recommendation which will be submitted directly by your letter writers.

All of this information should be submitted on-line, using the application submission page.

What is the selection process?

The selection process takes about six weeks and involves an assessment of the applicants and a matching of the skills and interests of candidates to the available projects and supervisors.

How can I check on my application's status?

Please be patient. We know that you may be anxious to find out how matters are progressing, but it takes some time to go through the selection process. Inquiries may be directed to

What happens if I am offered an internship?

If you are offered a position with the STScI SAS Program, that means we found match with you and one of our staff members, and we hope you will accept our offer. If you accept our offer, you will be asked to supply additional information to our Human Resources Department, and they will also provide you will any help you may need in preparing to come here. We will then contact you with travel, housing, and other logistical information, and put you in contact with your project advisor.

What happens if I'm offered positions with two different internship programs?

Sometimes accepted students wish to consider other summer internship offers that they may receive, but we will set a time limit on our offer so that positions do not remain unfilled for too long.

What if I'm not accepted?

Each year we receive more than 300 complete applications like yours and the majority of them are very good. There is simply more demand for the opportunities we offer than we can supply, despite this being a large program. If at all possible, you are encouraged to consider applying again next year.

To apply for a Summer Student position:

Complete the STScI Space Astronomy Summer Program Application Form.