Application Process Frequently Asked Questions

Application Process Frequently Asked Questions

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1. When and where should I apply?

Any time after the application site becomes available in early November.  You can apply directly at https://sam.mskcc.org/.

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2. Can I apply for more than one summer program?

Yes, up to two summer programs at MSK will consider you for enrollment; admissions committees are separate, but the same office sees all applications.

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3. Is there a deadline for submission of applications?

Yes, the application deadline is February 1.  The application portal closes by Feb 1 (11:59 p.m., EST).  The Summer @ MSK (SAM) application system is available online from November through February 1.

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4. Can you provide any advice on how to write a good application?

You might wish to read “Three steps to landing an undergraduate research internship.” One of the writers is the director of 4 of MSK’s summer programs.

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5. Can I update my application from last year?

You will need to reapply and request new letters from your recommenders.

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6. I have registered, but now can’t log in, can you help?

If you see “Application with this email address is not found”, it is likely that you are logging in with an email that is different from the one we have on record. If you have more than one email address, first please make sure you are logging in using the same address you used to register. Applicants with two accounts risk having application documents logged in two different places and risk the application not marked as complete. Email oset@mskcc.org for additional help.

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7. I forgot my password, how can I reset it?

Log into https://sam.mskcc.org/, click on sign in, and the click on “forgot your password” link to reset your password.

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8. I’m having issues saving my applications or the application system is running slow, how do I fix this?

Some of these issues can be solved by switching browsers (chrome, Firefox), clearing your browser cache and disabling your pop-up blockers. If you are still encountering issues, please contact us immediately at oset@mskcc.org.

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9. Is an official transcript necessary for my application?

No, only those accepted into the internship will need to submit an official transcript after acceptance. You are, however, required to upload an unofficial transcript (s) directly into the application system.  Please note, for every school you enter in the application, you must  provide an unofficial transcript. If we see discrepancies between your unofficial and official transcripts, the program may rescind acceptance.

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10. What are the requirements for the personal statement?

Your personal statement should not exceed 3,000 characters (including spaces). The personal statement should describe your undergraduate experience, academic and professional plans, and reasons for wishing to participate in the program, include anything else you consider important for a judgment of your abilities (including articles, theses, books, other published materials, patented inventions, academic honors, prizes, etc.). PLEASE make sure to address this particular program- those addressed to other internships or discussing potential labs at other institutions will leave the admissions committee cold.

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11. In addition to the application form, personal statement and unofficial transcript, what other documents do I need to submit?

You will also need a (minimum) of two recommendations written by those who are familiar with your academic progress and credentials (names, department, email).  After you enter your recommenders’ email addresses and save the section, the system will prompt an email to the recommender to submit the letter of recommendation directly to the application system.  Please note recommendations from family members or friends are not appropriate.

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12. Can I submit more than the required two letters of recommendation?

Yes, the online application system will accept more than two recommendation letters.  However, please note that if you list more than two letters of applications and we are missing one recommendation letter the system will mark your application as incomplete.  It is important to follow up with all recommenders.

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13. Can I change my recommender(s) after I have submitted my application?

You can change a recommender only if you have not submitted your application. After the application has been submitted, you cannot make any changes.  If you replace an existing recommender, please notify the recommender that you will no longer require a letter.  If you have any issues, please contact us at oset@mskcc.org.

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14. If I change a recommender, will my original recommender be notified?

It is your responsibility to inform your original recommender that a letter will no longer be required.

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15. What should I do if my recommenders have not received a request for a letter of recommendation on my behalf?

There are a few reasons that your recommender may not have received the system-generated email request for a letter of recommendation.  If you did not submit your application, you should:

  • Log on to the application system and check to ensure that the email address you have entered is accurate, then resend the request for a letter.
  • Ask your recommender to check their SPAM or Junk folder.

If the email message is still not received after attempts listed above and you suspect there is a technical problem, please email us at oset@mskcc.org.  If you submitted your application, please email us at oset@mskcc.org to investigate the issue.

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16. Who ensures that letters of recommendation are received?

It is your responsibility to ensure that we receive your letters of recommendation and your responsibility to inform your recommender. You should check to make sure your recommenders have received our email requesting a letter.  If the recommender is having issues uploading the letter, please have them email the letters directly to us in PDF format at oset@mskcc.org.

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17. Is there a deadline for receipt of my recommendation letters?

All letters must be received by February 1.

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18. Can I submit my application before the letters of recommendation are received?

Yes, we encourage you to submit your application as soon as you have completed it. You do not need to wait for your recommenders to submit their letters in order to submit your application.

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19. After I submit the application, can I make changes to my application?

No, after you have submitted an application, you cannot make any changes.  If you have any issues or questions, please contact us at oset@mskcc.org.

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20. How will I know if my application is complete?

You will receive an email confirming that your application is complete. NOTE: You must complete your application by Feb 1 (11:59 p.m., EST). Applications that are incomplete after the Feb 1 deadline will not receive further consideration.

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21. When can I expect to hear about the status of my application?

Decision letters are emailed no later than by March 15th, everyone who applied will be informed via e-mail.

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