What is UPOP?


MIT's Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program (UPOP) has a well-earned reputation as a “career success accelerator.” We're a yearlong professional development program that prepares sophomores—regardless of major—to thrive in their careers.

Applications for the Class of 2021 MIT Sophomores have now closed.

We will open applications for the Class of 2022 sophomores late August 2019. Read more about our application process here.

Founded in 2001, we are one of the largest co-curricular programs at MIT (almost half of all sophomores apply), and we take our students' careers VERY seriously. We coach them to think strategically: where do they want to be 10 years after they graduate? What sophomore summer internship will position them towards that goal?

[Here's a brief MIT News video on UPOP.]

The UPOP year gives students real-world skills, coaching from (and life-long connections with!) successful MIT alums, experiential workshops, company field trips, one-on-one counseling from UPOP staff, networking events, exclusive panel discussions with companies like Accenture, Akamai, Apple, Google, Northrop Grumman and Tesla Motors, and access to internships with the 2000+ employers who work with UPOP and who know and trust that a UPOP-trained intern will hit the ground running.

UPOP sophomores have interned at companies such as: Accenture, Adobe, Air Liquide, Apple, Akamai, Amazon, Aurora Flight Sciences, Autodesk, Bank of America, Bell Helicopter, Biogen-Idec, Blizzard, BMW, Boeing, Booze Allen Hamilton, Boston Scientific, Bose, BP, Cessna Aircraft, Chevron, Chrysler, Cisco, Conoco Philips, Corning, Cummins, Cypress Semi Conductor, Dassault Systèmes, Deutsche Bank, Direct TV, Dow Chemical, Draper, Dropbox, DuPont Pioneer, eBay, Estee Lauder, Etsy, ExxonMobil, Facebook, Ford, GM, GE, Gameloft, General Atomics, Genetech, Genzyme, Goldman Sachs, Google, HP, Halliburton, IBM, IDEO, Intel, iRobot, JPL, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorganChase, Lincoln Labs, Lockheed Martin, Los Alamos Labs, Mass Challenge, Mathworks, McKinsey, Medtronic, Merck, Merrill Lynch, MGH, Microsoft, MITRE, Morgan Stanley, NASA, the New York Times, the NIH, the NRC, the NSA, Nike, Nokia, Northrop Grumman, Novartis, Oracle, Orbital Sciences, P&G, Palantir, Panasonic, Pfizer, Pinterest, Pioneer Natural Resources, Pixar, Pratt & Whitney, P&G, Qualcomm, Raytheon, Sandia, Schlumberger, Shell, Sikorsky, SolidWorks, SpaceX, St. Gobain, State Farm, Stryker, Synaptics, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Terrafugia, Tesla Motors, Texas Instruments, Thomson Reuters, Tiffany & Company, Trip Advisor, Tumblr, UBS, US Army Corp of Engineers, US Senate, Vecna Technologies, Virgin Gallactic, VMWare, Vistaprint, Volpe National Transportation, Walt Disney Company, Washington Metro Transit Authority, Westinghouse, WL Gore, the World Bank, Xerox, Yahoo, as well as many early-stage startups, and more.

From career basics—professional résumés and cover letters, networking, job-search, and interview skills—to essential workplace competencies such as communication, negotiation, presentations, and project management, the UPOP year provides MIT sophomores with an unparalleled opportunity to launch their careers.

We’re compatible with programs such as MISTI, UROP, PSC fellowships, and LeaderShape, and we are highly recommended as preparation for the elite Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program for juniors and seniors.

“UPOP: the start of an amazing adventure learning about business.”
—Drew Houston ’05, founder and CEO of Dropbox, and UPOP alum

"I think of UPOP as a success accelerator."
John Chisholm ’75, founder/CEO/Chair of Decisive Tech (now part of Google)

“I cannot overstate the impact UPOP has had on my career development. UPOP provided me with the skills to harness the full potential of MIT’s classroom education.” 
—UPOP Class of 2009 student 

“UPOP: it’s a dose of the real world.”
—UPOP Class of 2011 student

Our mission: To prepare MIT sophomores to successfully integrate into and thrive in the professional world and to be strong contributors to their organizations, supported by a dynamic community of students, program staff, employers, faculty, MIT alums, and other friends of the program.