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SPP - Who Should Participate

SPP welcomes applicants from students who are interested in pursuing a doctorate and have accepted admission to a graduate program at Illinois. Students from all disciplines will be considered for participation. Students who have previously participated in the BTAA, a McNair Program, Aspire or COS are encouraged to apply.

Students starting a master’s degree program and planning to pursue a doctorate at Illinois in the same field may also apply. Program applicant must indicate their intention to pursue a doctoral degree in their SPI statement of purpose.

Student Eligibility

  • Students must have accepted admission to a doctoral (or doctoral-track) program at Illinois by April 15, 2024.
    Note: Students starting a master’s degree program who are planning to continue to doctoral study in that field at Illinois may also apply.
  • Participants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or approved domestic applicants.
  • Must not be currently or previously enrolled in a graduate program at Illinois.

Additional Eligibility Criteria
Applicants must meet one or more of the following:

  • Can describe how their educational and socio-cultural experiences or geographic background can enhance graduate study in their discipline in the United States or at the University of Illinois;
  • Can describe their sustained commitment to diversity and inclusion in the academic, professional, or civic realm through their work experience, volunteer engagement, or leadership of student or community organizations in a way that directly contributes to the quality of the intellectual environment of the university;
  • Have experienced financial hardship as a result of family economic circumstances;
  • Are the first generation in their families to graduate from a four-year college.