Program Details

The Summer Lab Science Program begins in early June and ends in mid-August each year. The program runs 10 weeks with the potential opportunity to extend employment beyond your original end date.

All students begin the program on the same day and attend an orientation together. Casual business attire is required.


For Summer Lab Science Program salary details, see the job posting on the Internships and Summer Opportunities Web page.

In addition, you have access to:

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

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.

During the program, you work in one of Mayo's clinical labs. These may include:

  • Metals Laboratory. You become familiar with proper chemical handling, following standard operating procedures and working with instrumentation. Tasks may include project work with leadership, working with our inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) platforms, reagent preparation or processing kidney stones.
  • Toxicology and Drug Monitoring Laboratory. You 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 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 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 become familiar with preparing 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 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 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 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 hemoglobin.
  • Antibody Immunology Laboratory. You 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 become familiar with the protein electrophoresis processing station as well as 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.

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, Minnesota, area has much to offer — read more about activities in the area.

Parking and transportation

Several transportation options to and from work are available.

Options may 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 within the community.

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