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Diversity Programs

Engineering at Illinois is a leader not only in research and education, but also in diversity. Our entire community benefits when individuals from different personal, cultural, and disciplinary perspectives are working together.

Increasing the diversity of our faculty and students is fundamental to our mission. It improves and accelerates the rate and impact of our academics, research, and reputation.

We seek to develop a diverse and highly motivated pool of engineering researchers, students and future graduates that will work together to address major societal challenges. Two key programs have been implemented to assist in this endeavor:

Multicultural Engineering Recruitment for Graduate Education (MERGE)

Engineering at Illinois encourages under-represented prospective graduate students to apply to attend the MERGE diversity recruiting event. This event provides a great opportunity to learn more about the exciting research projects at Illinois, to meet faculty and current students, and to learn how to prepare an competitive graduate application. MERGE brings promising students to campus for an all expenses paid, in-depth view of the outstanding programs and facilities available for graduate study in engineering at Illinois.

Support for Under-Represented Groups in Engineering (SURGE) Fellowship Program

The SURGE fellowship program is for incoming under-represented graduate students planning to complete a doctoral program. SURGE is a five-year fellowship program, providing fellows a full fellowship in the first year and a partial fellowship plus their departmental research or teaching assistantship in years two through five. Incoming graduate students are nominated for this fellowship by the department that has offered admission. A student awarded a SURGE fellowship cannot also hold the Sloan Fellowship.

Sloan University Center of Exemplary Mentoring at Illinois

The College of Engineering participates in the Sloan Scholars and Illinois Sloan Scholars Fellowship Program. This fellowship is for incoming under-represented doctoral students. Sloan scholars will be funded through a fellowship and an assistantship while completing their doctoral degree. In addition, scholars will be carefully mentored toward successful completion of their Ph.D. and job placement, along with participating in a series of professional development opportunities. We highly recommend prospective students apply to their department by December 1 to be considered for the Sloan Scholars and Illinois Sloan Scholars Fellowship Program.