Strengthening diversity at UC

UC is committed to cultivating an intellectually rich research and learning environment that includes a wealth of backgrounds and perspectives.

UC values expanding pathways for access and success for students that have been historically underrepresented in graduate education. Diversity is critical to the educational experience. UC offers a number of programs and resources to cultivate a more diverse academic community.

Undergraduate research programs

There are a number of UC research programs that help prepare undergraduate, as well as some master’s level students, for graduate research. Many of these programs emphasize the importance of diversity and highlight access for underrepresented groups. Opportunities are available for UC students as well as those coming from other institutions; students are encouraged to research these opportunities.

In addition to campus-specific programs, there are also several systemwide research opportunities to enhance diversity:

The University of California's Leadership Excellence through Advanced DegreeS (UC LEADS) program prepares promising students for advanced education in science, technology, mathematics and engineering (STEM). The program is designed to identify upper-division undergraduate students with the potential to succeed in these disciplines, but who have experienced situations or conditions that have adversely impacted their advancement in their field of study. UC students are eligible to apply and, once chosen as a scholar, embark upon a two-year program of scientific research and graduate school preparation guided by individual Faculty Mentors.

Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP)
The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program – or CAMP, as California’s alliance is called – is federally funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) with the purpose of increasing the diversity of student participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors, and supports continuation to graduate studies, particularly for the Ph.D. CAMP serves UC undergraduate students who are from ethnically underrepresented groups and are permanent residents or U.S. citizens. Students should visit individual campus websites for information on applying to CAMP.

Summer Institute for Emerging Managers and Leaders (SIEML)
SIEML is a collaborative outreach effort amongst the six UC business schools (UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Riverside and UC San Diego).  This summer study program, which rotates amongst the six business schools, is available to freshmen from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-serving Institutions (HSIs). Students attend for two weeks a year in the summer, for two consecutive years. Students participate in dynamic, hands-on workshops that immerse them in the principles of business development and entrepreneurship, while gaining exposure to opportunities for internships, career development, and continuing on to pursue a master’s degree in business.

UC-HBCU Initiative
This program is different from other systemwide efforts in that students are not able to apply to a systemwide or campus-wide program. The UC-Historically Black Colleges and Universities Initiative is a faculty grants program for UC faculty to develop collaborations with HBCUs and provide focused research opportunities for students from specific partner institutions. All UC-HBCU Initiative research projects provide participating student interns with a summer research experience and graduate school mentorship opportunities at various UC campuses. Only students enrolled at specific UC-HBCU partner institutions and particular departments are eligible to participate. Student interns are provided with a summer stipend, housing, meals and related travel expenses.

Funding opportunities

There are numerous financial aid and fellowship programs available to students from underrepresented populations. Be sure to research and apply to all open awards as well as those that may be targeted at particular groups.

UC welcomes students from all backgrounds. Campus resources are available to assist AB 540 undocumented students.

Connect with campus resources

Campus graduate divisions, as well as other offices serve to strategically address issues of diversity,  equity and inclusion. UC campuses offer an array of resources designed to strengthen the pipeline of scholars of color to the academy. Historically underrepresented students are encouraged to review campus information regarding UC’s value of diversity.

Contact individual campus resources to learn more about UC’s commitment to diversity:

Applying to grad school?

UC in action

Watch a video about UCLA Ph.D. alumna and new UC faculty member Jessica Perea’s experience with the UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.