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Aspire Illinois


ASPIRE Illinois 2022

ASPIRE Illinois offers an opportunity for traditionally underrepresented students in graduate education to explore and consider graduate school at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Toward this aim, we provide preapplication supports and host campus visits.


Preapplication Supports

We offer a series of webinars that guide students through the process of selecting a graduate program and submitting competitive applications. In addition, the program supports ASPIRE-applicants by facilitating direct contact with Directors of Graduate Studies and faculty as well as through campus visits.

The ASPIRE Illinois Summer Webinar Series will be held Thursdays from June 30, 2022, to August 11, 2022.

Register for the webinars


We have found that these preapplication actions—early application guidance, program-specific connections, and campus visits— empower students throughout the submission process and eases the transition to graduate school for successful applicants who ultimately decide to attend graduate school at Illinois. In addition, many ASPIRE-candidates could be eligible for one of our prestigious Graduate College Fellowships. We believe that this synergy between the Graduate College, graduate programs, and ASPIRE-applicants enhances the quality of the candidate pool and facilitates the diversification of graduate education at Illinois.


Campus Visits

The ASPIRE Illinois campus visit program offers an opportunity for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students to explore our graduate programs, tour our campus and facilities, and will learn about the culture and community at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Participants will meet with faculty in their research area of interest, interact with current graduate students, and learn about the resources offered through the Graduate College.


There is no registration fee or cost to participate in the program; applicants must be at least a rising senior or have already graduated from a bachelor’s program.

The ASPIRE Illinois 2022 Application is now open.

Apply to ASPIRE


If you have questions about the ASPIRE Illinois program, please contact us at