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Aspire Illinois


ASPIRE Illinois offers an opportunity for students with diverse experiences and goals, and who come from many educational, socio-cultural, geographic, and familial backgrounds to explore and consider graduate school at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Toward this aim, we provide preapplication supports and host a campus visit.


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 a campus visit. 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.


Webinar Series

The 2024 ASPIRE Illinois Summer Webinar Series will be held Thursdays from June 27 to August 8, at 7 p.m. (central time). There is no cost to participate. Further details and registration are forthcoming.



Campus Visit

The 2024 ASPIRE Illinois campus visit program offers an opportunity for students with a wide range of experiences and goals to consider graduate school at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Participants will meet with faculty in their research area of interest, interact with current graduate students, tour campus facilities, and learn about the resources offered through the Graduate College.

There is no registration fee or cost to participate in the campus visit. Applicants must be at least a rising senior or have already graduated from a bachelor’s program and must be either United States citizens, permanent residents, or undocumented students.

This year, the campus visit will take place on September 29-30, 2024, at the I Hotel & Illinois Conference Center.

The ASPIRE Illinois Application is now open and will close on Friday, August 9, 2024.

apply to aspire

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