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10 Tips to Help You Get Into NYU's ARISE

If you are passionate about science and engineering and have a pretty strong aptitude for it already, you should strongly consider research programs that challenge you while giving you exposure to skills and experiences beyond the high school curriculum.


Not only will you be better off for it, but it can give your college application a pretty strong boost! In today’s blog post, we’ll get into detail and provide you some tips on how to crack NYU’s ARISE Program.


What is NYU ARISE?

The Applied Research Innovations in Science and Engineering or ARISE program is a free seven-week, on-site, full time summer research program for high school students in the New York City area offered by New York University’s (NYU) Tandon School of Engineering.


This program will have you working in a participating laboratory alongside NYU faculty and graduate students, providing hands-on experience. NYU Tandon’s aim is to deepen students’ understanding of data collection, analysis, research practices, and the scientific inquiry process. The projects themselves are cutting-edge, and will often require accompanying college-level coursework as study material, meaning that you will be advancing your STEM knowledge and expertise far beyond high school levels.


Beyond the core skills required for STEM research, ARISE also provides opportunities to build valuable skills for your future academic and professional pursuits. There are regular workshops on topics such as scientific writing, public speaking, and college admissions, which will be helpful for you regardless of where you choose to build your career.


How is ARISE structured?

Again, similar to 2023, ARISE is structured as follows:

  • Location: one of several participating laboratories

  • Orientation: June 23

  • Program: June 28 – August 11

  • Schedule: full-time - Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm for all seven weeks.

During these seven weeks you will be working alongside lab personnel on real scientific research, akin to an internship, and you will be paid a stipend of $750 on successfully completing the program.


ARISE has labs in the following subject areas partnered with the program, allowing you to choose a project in any of them:

  • Anthropology

  • Biology

  • Biomedical Engineering

  • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

  • Civil and Urban Engineering

  • Computer Science and Engineering

  • Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

While each subject area has multiple labs working on projects, we’ve compiled a small list of the kind of work these laboratories do and what you can hope to work on:


  1. Computer science and engineering: The labs are developing ranking methods that produce fair, diverse, and stable results; explaining data and models with "nutritional labels"; negotiating the privacy / transparency interface with the help of privacy-preserving synthetic data generation mechanisms; and helping determine winners in elections in cases where votes are incomplete or uncertain. What you can hope to work on: developing tools and collecting data related to the current projects.

  2. Electrical and computer engineering: While the Centre for Advanced Technology in Telecommunications works on wireless networks and network security, the Music and Audio Research Lab works on endowing computers with listening skills. The ECE Machine Learning Lab pursues research at the intersection of machine learning, deep learning, and robotics, and the Laboratory for Nanoelectronics Research studies the physics of electronic materials and their application in building devices and circuits. What you can hope to work on: You can expect to be researching testbeds to implement large-scale network experiments, contributing to building, testing and deploying remote acoustic sensors, designing optimization algorithms for fast and efficient training of deep learning models, or working on electronics for interfacing with living cells.

  3. Mechanical and aerospace engineering: The Composite Materials and Mechanics Lab is focused on applying machine learning to microstructures of composite materials, while the Mechatronics Lab is researching the use of mobile devices to produce intuitive and natural interfaces for human-robot interaction. The Applied Dynamics lab focuses on energetics of dynamic systems, the Dynamical Systems Lab conducts multidisciplinary research in the theory and applications of dynamical systems, and the Machines in Motion Lab develops novel algorithms based on optimal control and reinforcement learning. What you can hope to work on: Working with one of these labs means you may be working on cybersecurity in additive manufacturing, integration of dynamics/control with numerical optimization, study the spreading of epidemic in cities, or fusion of multiple sensory information to make sense of the environment.

Considering Pros & Cons

If you’re interested, here are a few things to consider before you file your application:


Pros:

  1. You will gain research experience: ARISE offers a full-time research laboratory experience, allowing you to grasp the scientific process of inquiry and its real-world application. You'll also identify and enhance your strengths and weaknesses.

  2. You will have a lot of exposure to STEM fields: Working in these labs places you alongside leading minds in your chosen field, working on crucial subjects. You'll interact with researchers, industry experts, and potential mentors.

  3. You will develop valuable skills: in the course of the program, you will be learning scientific writing, public speaking, and ARISE even provides two weeks of college advice and application workshops. This is in addition to the skills you will inevitably learn while working in the laboratories themselves. For example, Edwil Philippe salvaged e-waste to build a robotic fish, controlled with an interactive phone application, connected via bluetooth. Yarileldy Payano and Emma Pereira worked at the Privacy and Security Automation Lab on analyzing the use of misleading hashtags that further the spread of disinformation.

  4. You will get to explore interdisciplinary areas: While high school STEM is restricted to lectures and lab work in specific fields, here you’ll mostly be working with multiple disciplines. ARISE covers interdisciplinary topics and STEM disciplines such as Bio-and Molecular Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Robotics, Computer Science, AI, and Machine Learning via hands-on work in research labs.

  5. You can boost your chances of getting into NYU (or a similar caliber university): We’ve researched the internet and gone through Reddit threads, and students who have gotten into NYU and attended ARISE do mention that it definitely gives the profile a boost. Given how rigorous the program is, we’d say it’ll give you a boost for your application, no matter which college you are targeting.

  6. You will pay no fees: ARISE is completely free of charge, making it an excellent option if you’re looking for opportunities without worrying about funds.

  7. You will receive a pretty good stipend: Since you will effectively be working like a full-time research assistant, you will earn a minimum of $750 on completing the program.


Cons:

  1. You might not get accepted, it’s pretty competitive: the program is limited to only 80 spots and the application process is intense and competitive.

  2. You’ll need to be fully committed: While not a con per se, the full-time 9-5 nature of the program removes any possibility of exploring multiple opportunities over your summer.

  3. You must be a New York resident: Arguably the biggest detriment to an otherwise stellar program. If you’re not living in the New York area, you’re simply not eligible


8 Tips to help you get into ARISE

Getting accepted into NYU's ARISE program is a highly competitive endeavor, but with careful planning and preparation, you can increase your chances of securing a place at one of their labs. Here are ten tips to guide you through the application process:

  1. Start early: Begin preparing for the ARISE application well in advance. Early planning allows you to gather necessary documents, refine your essay, and seek recommendation letters from teachers who know you well. And not just in terms of documentation - also work on building your own profile to demonstrate your expertise in and passion for STEM.

  2. Maintain strong academics: ARISE values academic excellence. Maintain a high GPA and excel in your science and math courses. Seek opportunities for advanced studies and enroll in STEM competitions where you can. In short, do everything you can to enhance your academic competency.

  3. Craft an exceptional essay: The 1000-word essay is your chance to stand out. Take the time to write a compelling essay that reflects your passion for STEM, your unique experiences, and your interest in the ARISE program. Ideally you should tell a story, weaving the program into your overall life and career goals.

  4. Seek a stellar recommendation: Choose a recommender who can provide a strong and specific letter of recommendation. Ideally, this should be an off-shoot of you following tips #1 and #2. A teacher or mentor who knows your academic abilities and work ethic well, whom you have worked on extracurricular courses or competitions with, is an excellent option.

  5. Research the labs: Familiarize yourself with the participating labs and their research areas. Show genuine interest in the specific lab(s) you'd like to join, as this demonstrates your commitment to the program. This will also help you save your own time and effort and apply to only those labs that most closely resonate with your own experience and interests, and therefore increase your chances of getting selected.

  6. Prepare for interviews thoroughly: Building on the previous tip, understand the lab's research projects and be ready to discuss your potential contributions. Ask insightful questions that showcase your genuine interest.

  7. Highlight your skills: If you want to stand out, emphasize any relevant skills you possess. Whether it's programming languages, laboratory techniques, or leadership abilities, make sure to provide relevant examples and demonstrations of each. This may be through your essay, your recommendation letter, or your interviews.

  8. Be your passionate self: This may sound trite, but doesn’t make it any less true. ARISE is looking for high schoolers with a genuine passion for STEM research. Your real enthusiasm and excitement will go a long way to showing them that you’re more than just your grades, that you’re truly interested in contributing to the work they’re doing.


Who is eligible for ARISE?

Now that you have all the information required to send in the best application, read on to understand the other important criteria. To be eligible for the ARISE program, you must:

  • be a high school student living in the New York City area - even if you are not an American citizen.

- The “New York City area” here refers to one of five NYC boroughs (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island).

  • be 10th or 11th grade. No exceptions.

  • have completed at least one year of high school science and mathematics coursework.

The best part is, there is no cost to attend this program, and you’ll receive a stipend of $750.


How to apply to ARISE

The key dates for the 2024 application will be similar to the following for 2023:

  • Application Opens: November 22

  • Application Closes: March 5

  • Recommendation Due: March 5

  • Notifications of Round 1 Selections: Week of April 10

  • Mandatory Lab Tours and Group Interviews: April 17 - 20

  • Notifications of Round 2 Selections: Week of April 24

  • Mandatory One-on-One Interviews: April 30 or May 1

  • Notifications of Match/Lab Placement: Week of May 8

NYU follows a strict and highly competitive admissions process that requires you to submit the following:

  1. An online application - consisting of:

    1. Basic and demographic information

    2. Your cumulative GPA from the beginning of high school through the last marking period

    3. Your average grade (out of 100) in all your high school science and math classes, and the number of classes you have taken in these subjects

    4. Your preferred area of STEM Research - Engineering, Life Science, or Computer and Data Sciences

    5. A 1000-word essay on a provided prompt related to life experiences, passion about STEM, or interest in the ARISE program

  2. A recommendation letter - this should be provided by an adult who has consented to have their name associated with your application who has knowledge of your academic record, work ethic, and interests. Ideally this would be a teacher, counselor, mentor, coach or supervisor.

  3. Multiple lab tours & group interviews - After clearing the first shortlist, you’ll be invited to tour 6-10 labs most relevant to your preferred area of STEM research and be interviewed by the lab personnel. This is arguably the most critical phase of the admissions process, where the researchers will determine whether or not your aptitude and passion are aligned to their lab’s requirements.

  4. One-on-one Interviews - As the final step, you will rank the labs in your order of preference and then will be invited for one-on-one interviews with the lab personnel of up to 4 of your chosen labs. Unlike the previous step, this is a learning opportunity rather than a grilling session, where the objective is to ensure you clearly understand the work you’ll be doing. At the end, you’ll have to again rank the labs you interviewed with, which will be matched against the labs’ own preferences.


If you make it through all this, congratulations, you’re in! If it seems a little bit confusing, we urge you to thoroughly read through the how to apply page and the FAQs in it.


Is NYU’s ARISE prestigious?

While the program is restricted to New York residents, limiting the pool of applicants, ARISE is still an incredibly selective program. Only 80 or so students are selected every year, that too after multiple rounds of interviews and interactions! The reason for this competitive admissions process is the fact that you’ll be working directly with professional scientists, researchers and grad students on actual projects that the laboratory is undertaking. This, and the intense schedule of the program, ensure that the level of exposure you receive at ARISE is sure to impress any admissions officer or recruiter in the future.


If you're looking for a real-world internship that can help boost your resume while applying to college, we recommend Ladder Internships!


Ladder Internships is a selective program equipping students with virtual internship experiences at startups and nonprofits around the world! The startups range across a variety of industries, and each student can select which field they would most love to deep dive into. This is also a great opportunity for students to explore areas they think they might be interested in, and better understand professional career opportunities in those areas. The startups are based all across the world, with the majority being in the United States, Asia and then Europe and the UK. 


The fields include technology, machine learning and AI, finance, environmental science and sustainability, business and marketing, healthcare and medicine, media and journalism and more. 


You can explore all the options here on their application form. As part of their internship, each student will work on a real-world project that is of genuine need to the startup they are working with, and present their work at the end of their internship. In addition to working closely with their manager from the startup, each intern will also work with a Ladder Coach throughout their internship - the Ladder Coach serves as a second mentor and a sounding board, guiding you through the internship and helping you navigate the startup environment. 


Cost: $1490 (Financial Aid Available)

Location:  Remote! You can work from anywhere in the world.

Application deadline: April 16 and May 14

Program dates: 8 weeks, June to August

Eligibility: Students who can work for 10-20 hours/week, for 8-12 weeks. Open to high school students, undergraduates and gap year students!


Additionally, you can also work on independent research in AI, through Veritas AI's Fellowship Program!


Veritas AI focuses on providing high school students who are passionate about the field of AI a suitable environment to explore their interests. The programs include collaborative learning, project development, and 1-on-1 mentorship. These programs are designed and run by Harvard graduate students and alumni and you can expect a great, fulfilling educational experience. Students are expected to have a basic understanding of Python or are recommended to complete the AI scholars program before pursuing the fellowship. 


The AI Fellowship program will have students pursue their own independent AI research project. Students work on their own individual research projects over a period of 12-15 weeks and can opt to combine AI with any other field of interest. In the past, students have worked on research papers in the field of AI & medicine, AI & finance, AI & environmental science, AI & education, and more! You can find examples of previous projects here


Location: Virtual

Cost

  • $1,790 for the 10-week AI Scholars program

  • $4,900 for the 12-15 week AI Fellowship 

  • $4,700 for both

  • Need-based financial aid is available. You can apply here

Application deadline: On a rolling basis. Applications for fall cohort have closed September 3, 2023. 

Program dates: Various according to the cohort

Program selectivity: Moderately selective

Eligibility: Ambitious high school students located anywhere in the world. AI Fellowship applicants should either have completed the AI Scholars program or exhibit past experience with AI concepts or Python.

Application Requirements: Online application form, answers to a few questions pertaining to the students background & coding experience, math courses, and areas of interest. 


If you're looking for a real-world internship that can help boost your resume while applying to college, we recommend Ladder Internships!


Ladder Internships is a selective program equipping students with virtual internship experiences at startups and nonprofits around the world! 


The startups range across a variety of industries, and each student can select which field they would most love to deep dive into. This is also a great opportunity for students to explore areas they think they might be interested in, and better understand professional career opportunities in those areas. The startups are based all across the world, with the majority being in the United States, Asia and then Europe and the UK. 


The fields include technology, machine learning and AI, finance, environmental science and sustainability, business and marketing, healthcare and medicine, media and journalism and more.


You can explore all the options here on their application form. As part of their internship, each student will work on a real-world project that is of genuine need to the startup they are working with, and present their work at the end of their internship. In addition to working closely with their manager from the startup, each intern will also work with a Ladder Coach throughout their internship - the Ladder Coach serves as a second mentor and a sounding board, guiding you through the internship and helping you navigate the startup environment. 


Cost: $1490 (Financial Aid Available)

Location:  Remote! You can work from anywhere in the world.

Application deadline: April 16 and May 14

Program dates: 8 weeks, June to August

Eligibility: Students who can work for 10-20 hours/week, for 8-12 weeks. Open to high school students, undergraduates and gap year students!


Additionally, you can also work on independent research in AI, through Veritas AI's Fellowship Program!


Veritas AI focuses on providing high school students who are passionate about the field of AI a suitable environment to explore their interests.


The programs include collaborative learning, project development, and 1-on-1 mentorship. These programs are designed and run by Harvard graduate students and alumni and you can expect a great, fulfilling educational experience. Students are expected to have a basic understanding of Python or are recommended to complete the AI scholars program before pursuing the fellowship. 


The AI Fellowship program will have students pursue their own independent AI research project. Students work on their own individual research projects over a period of 12-15 weeks and can opt to combine AI with any other field of interest. In the past, students have worked on research papers in the field of AI & medicine, AI & finance, AI & environmental science, AI & education, and more! You can find examples of previous projects here


Location: Virtual

Cost

  • $1,790 for the 10-week AI Scholars program

  • $4,900 for the 12-15 week AI Fellowship 

  • $4,700 for both

  • Need-based financial aid is available. You can apply here

Application deadline: On a rolling basis. Applications for fall cohort have closed September 3, 2023. 

Program dates: Various according to the cohort

Program selectivity: Moderately selective

Eligibility: Ambitious high school students located anywhere in the world. AI Fellowship applicants should either have completed the AI Scholars program or exhibit past experience with AI concepts or Python.

Application Requirements: Online application form, answers to a few questions pertaining to the students background & coding experience, math courses, and areas of interest. 



Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you’re looking for similarly valuable learning and research opportunities in STEM and specifically in engineering, you could also consider applying to one of the Lumiere Research Scholar Programs, selective online high school programs for students I founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.

Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.


Image Source: NYU logo


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