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Achieving Excellence Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Diversity Equity Inclusion

The Graduate College is committed to promoting access, equity, and inclusion and to creating an inclusive and welcoming learning environment for all our graduate students that reflects the varied perspectives and lived experiences of our world. Our recruitment programs help sustain our graduate community's academic excellence and inclusiveness. In AY 2024, we will be offering the following programs:

Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP)

The Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) at Illinois is a research experience for rising juniors and seniors. It brings highly competitive undergraduate students from across the U.S. and its territories to campus for an eight-week introduction to graduate study. Participants conduct research under the mentorship of a faculty member in their chosen field of study, explore careers in research, attend workshops, and participate in team activities that prepare them for graduate study. Participants receive a stipend, housing, meals, health insurance, and academic credit.


Aspire Illinois Campus Visit recruits talented students with a wide range of experiences and goals to consider attending graduate school at Illinois. Toward this aim, we foster a summer webinar series to guide students through the process of selecting a graduate program and submitting competitive applications. In addition, ASPIRE Illinois applicants are supported through direct contact with Directors of Graduate Study and faculty, as well as through the campus visit.

Community Of Scholars (COS)

This spring campus visit program unites newly admitted students with their admitting graduate programs and with prospective peers during this spring campus visit program. Students explore the research and creative projects of our current graduates at the COS Symposium. Through networking and gaining a better sense of the Illinois campus, students are able to better understand how graduate study at the University of Illinois can support their short and long-term goals.

Summer Predoctoral PROGRAMS

We offer two exciting opportunities for incoming doctoral students who have accepted their offer of admission to an Illinois program.

Our 8-week Summer Predoctoral Institute (SPI) is an early orientation and research experience. SPI provides an advanced opportunity to become quickly prepared for the rigors, culture, and expectations of graduate school during the summer prior to the start of their graduate studies. The Institute offers an orientation, a series of seminars, and time to work with a research adviser in the student’s academic unit.

Our Summer Emerging PhD Program is a shorter, 2.5 week program. It offers the opportunity for incoming students to learn about graduate school culture, network with current graduate students, spend a day with their department, and attend graduate school sustainability seminars.

Both programs offer a stipend, housing, meals and health insurance.

Sloan University Center Of Exemplary Mentoring At Illinois

The Sloan University Center of Exemplary Mentoring at Illinois is one of eight UCEMs funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. It is designed to broaden participation in advanced engineering, physical, and mathematical science careers and to strengthen the talent pool in these fields while increasing equitable opportunities in the U.S. The grant supports doctoral students in STEM. In addition to financial support, Sloan UCEM scholars receive guidance from a team of mentors.

For more information about our recruitment programs and initiatives, contact the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Office at