Nuclear Science Summer School

The Nuclear Science Summer School (NS3) is a summer school that introduces undergraduate student participants to the fields of nuclear science and nuclear astrophysics. NS3 is hosted by FRIB on the campus of Michigan State University (MSU). The school  offers lectures and activities covering selected nuclear science and astrophysics topics. 

The 2024 program was held 12-18 May 2024. 

About NS3

Nuclear science and nuclear astrophysics are exciting fields that address important questions such as:

  • How were the nuclei we find on Earth created?
  • How do nuclear reactions fuel stars and provide us with energy?
  • How do fundamental forces hold nucleons together in nuclei and generate their decays?
  • What are the properties of unstable nuclei?
  • How can nuclei be used to benefit society?

At FRIB, all of these questions are investigated through the study of unstable nuclei, which often have large excesses of protons or neutrons compared to the well-known stable isotopes. These very short-lived nuclei are delivered to experimental areas to study their properties or even determine their existence for the first time.

Theorists help to interpret experimental data and develop theories that describe and predict the properties of atomic nuclei and how they react in collisions with other nuclei in the laboratory and in stars. Astrophysicists use the nuclear data as input to develop models of observed astrophysical phenomena. Often, the theorists, experimentalists, and modelers collaborate to achieve common goals.


At NS3, participants:

  • Are introduced to basic nuclear science and nuclear astrophysics concepts through lectures and collaborative activities
  • Learn about current research topics and open questions in nuclear science
  • Meet with peers who are also excited about research in nuclear science and nuclear astrophysics


The school is open to physics and chemistry majors at U.S. institutions who are at least 18 years of age at the time of the school. Prerequisites are Calculus, Introductory Physics I (Mechanics and Waves), Introductory Physics II (Electricity, Magnetism, Optics) and Modern Physics (or equivalent coursework). 


Participation in NS3 2024 is free. Travel and lodging support for summer school participants will be provided.

Important dates

The deadline for applications was 5 p.m. (EDT), 23 February 2024. This year's school ran 12-18 May 2024.


For questions about the school and/or the application process, please contact


NS3 is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation through grant no. 2209429 ("Windows on the Universe: Nuclear Astrophysics at FRIB").