Program Details

The Summer Lab Science Program begins in early June and ends in late August each year. You must commit to a minimum of 12 weeks in the program, and there's an opportunity to extend employment beyond your original end date. All students will begin the program on the same day and attend an orientation together. Casual business attire is required.


For Summer Lab Science Program salary details, please see the job posting on the Internships and Summer Opportunities Web page. In addition, you'll have access to:

  • A Mayo Clinic email account for job-related use
  • The Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center
  • Mayo Clinic-sponsored recreational programs
  • Discounted tickets to local and regional special events
  • Mayo's medical libraries
  • Educational seminars in laboratory medicine
  • Work opportunities during holiday breaks and on weekends during your senior year
  • Employee Occupational Health Services

Lab experiences

The Summer Lab Science Program provides learning experiences in clinical laboratories. Students who are interested in a research experience are advised to apply for the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship.

In the program, you'll work in one of Mayo's labs. These include:

  • Metals Laboratory. You'll become familiar with proper chemical handling, patient identification, following standard operating procedures and working with instrumentation. Tasks may include reagent preparation, processing urinary stones or assessing the cleanliness of the clean room.
  • Toxicology and Drug Laboratory. You'll gain experience with performing routine testing, setting up instruments and doing daily preventive maintenance on instruments. Tasks may include building sequences on Shimadzu high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) systems, placing samples on the instrument and preparing reagents.
  • Biochemical Genetics Laboratory. You'll become familiar with pre-analytical activities for various tests, preparing test reports and retrieving data from instruments. Tasks may include aliquoting, centrifugation, liquid-liquid extractions, automated solid phase extractions, pipetting and loading various instrumentation.
  • Molecular Genetics Laboratory. You'll gain experience with using a Beckman DU-650 Spectrophotometer to assess the quantity and quality of DNA specimens used to identify genetic diseases. Tasks may include learning several methods of DNA extraction, such as through an automated DNA extractor or a manual method using phenol and chloroform.
  • Bacteriology Laboratory. You'll become familiar with identifying bacteria isolated from clinical specimens and reviewing cultures for the presence of bacterial growth. Tasks may include performing subcultures of isolates and performing rapid biochemical tests — such as disk tests or enzymatic tests — for identification.
  • Hematopathology Morphology Laboratory. You'll gain experience with assisting in the collection of bone marrow samples from patients, working with slides, and handling related paperwork and scheduling. Tasks may include assessing the quality of the sample, preparing slides and pre-processing samples.
  • Cell Kinetics Laboratory. You'll learn two lab tests carried through the processing steps. Tasks may include learning to use flow cytometry equipment that uses a laser and fluorescently tagged antibodies to quantitate and subtype lymphocytes and other blood cells.
  • Metabolic Hematology Laboratory. You'll become familiar with working in the HPLC workstation, sorting and tracking samples and preparing patient worksheets. Tasks may include preparing and running hemolysates on an HPLC instrument to quantitate the presence of two types of hemoglobin in the sample and aid in the identification of abnormal hemoglobins.
  • Antibody Immunology Laboratory. You'll gain experience with sorting samples, building work lists, doing preventive maintenance on equipment and managing inventory. Tasks may include putting samples on an automated pipettor, preparing cytospin slides, and assisting with cleaning the lab and unpacking supplies.
  • Protein Immunology Laboratory. You'll become familiar with the protein electrophoresis processing station, and learn the techniques necessary for specimen preparation and processing of protein electrophoresis gels. Tasks may include concentrating urine specimens and applying them to electrophoresis gels before placing them on the electrophoresis instruments. You may also track and store specimens.
  • Hepatitis/HIV Laboratory. You'll become familiar with a full-service clinical laboratory that provides Food and Drug Administration-mandated screening serologic tests for transfusion-transmitted microbial pathogens, as well as routine diagnostic serologic and molecular tests for viral hepatitis and HIV. Tasks may include processing specimens, maintaining instruments, and evaluating instruments and test kits.

Other activities

The Summer Lab Science Program offers not only an educational work experience but also opportunities to live, socialize and have fun with other students from around the country.

The Rochester, Minn., area has much to offer — read more about activities in the area.

Parking and transportation

You'll need to make your own travel arrangements to and from work. Options include:

  • Driving or carpooling to a Park and Ride lot, from which you take a Rochester Public Transit bus to the Mayo Clinic campus
  • Taking public bus transportation on Rochester Public Transit (Mayo Clinic pays for your bus pass)
  • Biking
  • Carpooling


You must make your own temporary housing arrangements in the community.

Learn about travel, lodging and parking options, and find maps and directions, in Traveling to Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.