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Q. How much course work must I complete before I can apply for the program?
Eligible Summer Student Fellow candidates should be in their Junior year at university when they apply and must have completed their Junior undergraduate coursework by the start of the program. Students who will graduate before the fellowship begins are not eligible to apply.

Q. In addition to the application what other documents are required for admission?
In addition to the application form, applicants must answer short essay questions regarding research interests and goals, and submit a resume/CV, unofficial transcripts, and two references.

(Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Q. When is the application deadline?
February 5, 2024 (11:59 PM EST).

Q. Are there any students that have gone through the program that I can talk to about it?
For answers to questions you can't find here or to be put in touch with a past Fellow, email

Q. When does the program start?
The start and end dates are flexible, however students should arrive in Woods Hole between the end of May to mid-June, depending on their availability and that of their advisor.

Q. How long is the program?
The program duration is a minimum of 10 weeks and a maximum of 12 weeks.

Q. How many students attend at a time?
The number of fellows varies each year. It ranges between 25-30 per summer.

Q. Do I get credit for my fellowship?
WHOI does not offer formal academic credit toward degree requirements for participation in the Summer Student Fellowship Program, although such credit has sometimes been awarded by the student's own college or university. Attaining academic credit is the responsibility of the fellow.

Q. What does the schedule look like for the summer?
The Fellows become acquainted with each other during orientation day and the annual Summer Fellows cookout at the beginning of each summer.

The Summer Lecture Series is a significant introduction to the many exciting fields of oceanographic research at WHOI. Lecture Series topics have included: “REMUS AUVs: Description and recent projects;” "Fukushima ocean impacts;" “Climate change and rising sea-levels: Effects on coasts;" and “Melting sea ice threatens Emperor penguins” to name a few.

The Ethics in Science Workshop continues to contribute to the depth of the program. Discussions of scenarios are conducted both in small groups and with the group as a whole. Facilitators include volunteers from the WHOI scientific staff, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students.

The Q&A Session with current MIT/WHOI Joint Program Students promotes the discussion of graduate school and career goals.

Annually, the program includes a hands-on, one-day, at-sea practicum cruises onboard the R/V Tioga focusing on data collection and sampling methods with an assortment of oceanographic technology and instruments. The cruise not only provides practical training but also brings the group together socially through a shared field experience.

Q. How will I be matched to a sponsor and project?
Every effort is made to match prospective Summer Fellows with a staff scientist whose research interests most closely match those of the student. The Selection Committee considers an applicant's Research Statement, course work history, and academic background when proposing a sponsor match. Applicants should therefore mention specific research interests whenever possible in their Research Statement.

Q. Will I have an opportunity to do field work?
The opportunity to do field work varies from project to project. The type of project you engage in will determine your degree of field work.

Q. Will I get assistance selecting a research project?
Projects are typically suggested by the prospective advisor, and are agreed upon jointly by the student and their advisor. The advisors make every effort to help the student select and pursue a research project that can provide meaningful results during the course of a 10 to 12 week Fellowship.
» View Recent Projects
>> Potential Projects for 2024

Q. Why are Summer Fellows matched with staff scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey?
The USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center is one of three teams that conduct research within the USGS Coastal/Marine Hazards and Resources Program. The goal of the program is to describe the geology and processes of coastal and marine systems. To carry out this mission, the Center has been located on WHOI's Quissett Campus in Woods Hole as an integral part of the Woods Hole research community for more than 35 years.

Q. Will I have to submit a paper when the summer is complete?
Yes, all Summer Student Fellows are expected to present a brief mid-summer progress report, a public oral presentation to their department of research project results at the end of the summer, and a final written report describing their summer research project.

Q. Do most students who attend the program go on to be oceanographers?
This program is an excellent opportunity to explore and discover career and graduate school opportunities in ocean science. Fellows have the opportunity to meet and interact with current graduate students in the WHOI/MIT Joint Program.

Q. Do I get a stipend?
Yes, Summer Student Fellowship awards provide a weekly stipend for the ten- to twelve-week program. The stipend for the summer of 2024 is $680 per week. (Please note: International students will have a 14% U.S. Federal income tax deducted from their stipend payments.)

Q. Are there additional resources for students coming from outside the country?
Note: International students may apply but participation will be dependent on any visa or travel restrictions due to COVID-19. Fellowship recipients who are coming from outside of the US will receive help and information from our Foreign National Advisor in obtaining the proper paperwork for visas. If you are currently attending a U.S. institution/university on an F-1 Visa, you will need to discuss Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT) with your current institution or university's International Officer or F-1 Program Officer to determine if you are eligible to participate.

(Please note: International students are required to pay a 14% U.S. Federal income tax on stipend payments, travel allowances and the fair-market value of their WHOI housing. This tax will be deducted from their stipend payments through Payroll deductions.)

WHOI has a large international community and an active International Committee on campus.
» International Committee

Q. Is housing available?
Institution housing is provided for all Fellowship recipients. It is highly recommended that Summer Fellows live in WHOI housing in order to more fully appreciate their Summer Fellowship experience. Housing preferences must be made clear prior to the start of the program.
(Please note: International students are required to pay a 14% U.S. Federal income tax on the fair-market value of their WHOI housing. This tax will be deducted from their stipend payments through Payroll deductions.)

Q. Will I need a bicycle if I do not have a car?
Fellows can make arrangements to either ship a bicycle, bring a bicycle with them, or use the WHOI Bike Loaner Program. There is also public transportation available in the area. WHOI operates a campus shuttle on workdays, and a weekly grocery shuttle is provided for SSF.

Q. Are dining services available?
There are no meal plans available, however all institution housing comes with fully equipped kitchens. A weekly shuttle to a grocery store is provided. There are also cafeterias on both the Quissett and the village campuses, as well as many bakeries and cafes in the village of Woods Hole.
The Buttery
Café Swope
Woods Hole village options

Q. What other activities take place at WHOI during the summer?
A variety of seminars and colloquia throughout the summer in the Woods Hole scientific community provides a very useful introduction to the many fields of oceanographic research. There is also the SSF cookout,  the Summer Lecture Series, Ethics in Science Workshop, Mid-Summer Progress Reports, R/V Tioga cruises, and graduate school Q&A with Joint Program Students.
Field work on R/V Tioga
WHOI calendar
Life on Campus
GLOW: LGBTQIA+ in Woods Hole
Woods Hole Diversity Initiative Events

Q. Where can I find general information about Cape Cod?

Life on Cape Cod
Village of Woods Hole
Falmouth Chamber of Commerce