Summer Training for Aspiring Researchers (STAR) Program

2024 STAR (Summer Training for Aspiring Researchers) Program Overview: 

The Department of Statistics at Columbia University is offering a six-week program during Summer Session A (May 20 – June 28, 2024) for undergraduate students who are aspiring to become future researchers in statistics, data science, or a related field. The goal of the STAR Program is to broaden the pathways into these fields for students who have overcome substantial obstacles on their journey to applying to graduate school and those who have demonstrated a commitment to serving or studying historically underrepresented populations.

Through formal courses, skill workshops, networking events, and research seminars, the program aims to provide participants with intensive training in mathematics, probability, statistics, programming, and research skills, along with rich opportunities for professional and personal development. In addition, participants of the STAR Program will receive mentoring from graduate statistics students and interact with the faculty of the Department of Statistics at Columbia University. 

The STAR Program Offers:

  • Coverage of tuition credit cost and additional one-time student fees as outlined at this page for one approved six-week 3-credit in-person summer course in mathematics, probability, statistics, or programming at Columbia University during Summer Session A (May 20 – June 28, 2024). 
  • Approved courses for 2024 STAR program will be available after March 25th, 2024.For your reference, here are the approved courses for the 2023 STAR program Note: Statistics courses 4100 or above, if passed successfully, can count towards transfer credits if the STAR participant will enroll in the MA in Statistics Program at Columbia in the future.
  • Participants will receive a $3,500 stipend. Summer housing is not covered by the program, for visiting students, please see the Columbia summer housing website.
  • One-on-one mentoring, course support, and a math refresher session from graduate student mentors.
  • Weekly skill workshops, events, and seminars that focus on programming, academic writing, professional development, communication/presentation, and networking. Please note that all workshops, events, and seminars will be in-person and require attendance.
  • Networking with faculty and graduate student mentors. 
  • Interaction with participants in other summer undergraduate programs at Columbia. 
  • Journal/project club with selected mentors for returning STAR alumni.

Eligibility: Rising sophomores, juniors, and senior undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible for the 2024 STAR Program. All applicants will be considered on an individual basis for the program, and special considerations will be given to those applicants who:

  • will be the first in their family to attend graduate school;
  • overcome substantial obstacles on their journey to applying to graduate school;
  • have lived or worked in a diverse environment; and/or 
  • have, through their undergraduate education or work experience, demonstrated the commitment to serving historically underprivileged populations or demonstrated the commitment to the academic study of historically underrepresented populations;
  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.65 or above by the end of Fall 2023 semester.


  • Application Open: After February 12th, 2024. Access Application Links and Instructions HERE.
  • Final Application Deadline: April 10th, 2024
  • Notification of Acceptance: After April 1st, 2024
  • Program dates: Summer Session A, May 20, 2024 – June 28, 2024. A detailed schedule will be provided to accepted applicants.
  • Completed applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are submitted and completed.

Application Materials:

  • Application form 
  • Statement of interest (500-word max; What are your academic interests? How do you envision the program can benefit you? How can you contribute to the program? What excites you about the STAR program? Anything else you would like us to know when considering your application) 
  • A one-page resume or a one-page CV
  • Undergraduate Transcript including Fall 2023 grades
  • A copy of result page of most recent FAFSA form

*Students enrolled in local community colleges are strongly encouraged to apply

Collection of Self-Identification Data: The Department of Statistics at Columbia University is acting on the evidence that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strengthen the scientific communities and the quality, social relevance, and impact of research. Self-identification data provides information on the diversity of the student population applying for and receiving summer program funds. This data is important for monitoring the fairness of our summer program and informing future measures to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion among all those involved in the research enterprise. 

The program will not consider the voluntary check-the-box race/ethnicity self-identification during its selection process. 

Special Requirement: Students accepted to the program will need to comply with Columbia University’s Health Safety Protocols. Columbia University’s most up-to-date health requirements and protocols can be found in the COVID-19 Resource Guide for the Columbia Community.


The 2024 STAR Program is made possible with support from Columbia University, the Department of Statistics, GSAS, and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Graduate Equity Initiative. 

*2024 STAR Program Brochure

*2022 Cohort & Sample Schedule