Our commitment to diversity
We uphold our college's diversity values statement and believe that diversity strengthens excellence and innovation. We know that a diverse workforce is more productive, creative, and adept at solving complex challenges. We are training future global leaders and recognize that we as a department should strive to reflect the world and communities that we serve. We are committed to creating and maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for students, faculty, and staff to thrive. We are also actively working toward increasing the number of people from backgrounds that are too little represented in academia within our faculty and student body.
That's the Power of I.
DEI Support and Resources
Our goal is to create opportunities for students to apply, attend, and thrive at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, but we recognize the unique challenges that our students face. Below are some opportunities and resources available to help our students succeed—and inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists.
Creating a pipeline to STEM success
We create and encourage outreach programs to expand and diversify the STEM pipeline from elementary through graduate school and beyond.
- St. Elmo Brady STEM Academy is an after-school program established by the department that empowers middle school youth who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) to become the next generation of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians.
- Girls’ Adventures in Mathematics, Engineering, and Science (GAMES) is a week-long summer camp that provides high school girls with opportunities to explore engineering and scientific fields through demonstrations, classroom presentations, hands-on activities, and contact with women in technical fields.
- WYSE High School Summer Camp is designed to provide STEM-interested students the opportunity to experience advanced curricula at The Grainger College of Engineering, one of the best engineering schools in the nation and the world.
- Multicultural Engineering Recruitment for Graduate Education (MERGE) invites a group of prospective graduate students, including women and people from diverse cultural backgrounds and all physical abilities, to explore programs in The Grainger College of Engineering.
- We also attend meetings held by the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science, and other DEI student organizations to recruit graduate students.
DEI Student Organizations
Our campus offers many student organizations to help you make meaningful connections, get involved, and develop a variety of skills on your path to a fulfilled and successful future.
The mission of NSBE is to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.
NOBCChE is a non-profit professional organization dedicated to assisting black and other minority students and professionals in fully realizing their potential in academic, professional, and entrepreneurial pursuits in chemistry, chemical engineering, and allied fields. We invite you to browse our website, engage with us on social media, talk to our members, attend our programs and discover the NOBCChE spirit for yourself.
We are the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Student Chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicano/ Hispanic and Native Americans in the Sciences (SACNAS) and Friends. We are an all-inclusive chapter and we welcome the participation of all individuals who support the mission of SACNAS. One of our goals is to promote diversity in STEM by encouraging and providing students with resources to succeed in the sciences. We believe in being inclusive of all people in order to promote diversity in the sciences. Thus, we have added “Friends” to our chapter name in order to reflect the welcoming of individuals who are interested in joining our cause as our allies. It is our intention to foster a sense of community to students of all backgrounds.
SHPE changes lives by empowering the Hispanic community to realize their fullest potential and impacts the world through STEM awareness, access, support and development. SHPE's vision is a world where Hispanics are highly valued and influential as the leading innovators, scientists, mathematicians and engineers.
For more than seven decades, SWE has given women engineers a unique place and voice within the engineering industry. Our organization is centered around a passion for our members’ success and continues to evolve with the challenges and opportunities reflected in today’s exciting engineering and technology specialties.
We are building a professional community of students and alumni from the school of chemical sciences @ UIUC, dedicated to advancing representation and inclusion both in academia and industry.
GEDI seeks to develop STEM graduate students in the following areas: professional journal publication, industry and academia preparation, interdisciplinary research discourse, research grant proposals, and course/examination skills development.
Graduate Society of Women Engineers (GradSWE)
GradSWE is a support community and advocate for graduate women in engineering and for undergraduate women interested in pursuing graduate studies in engineering. We encourage women to pursue graduate school, support them throughout their graduate education, and help prepare them for their future careers after they complete their degree. GradSWE provides events that cater to the needs of graduate students and undergraduate students interested in pursuing graduate school.
Clare Booth Luce Research Scholars
The CBL program aims to support women undergraduates seeking to study or teach science, mathematics, and/or engineering, creating a pathway to graduate studies. Each year, eight women undergraduates are selected to take part in the Illinois Scholars Undergraduate Research program and work closely with a faculty sponsor/graduate student mentor on research projects.
Morrill Engineering Program
The mission of MEP is to empower African American, Hispanic, and Native American engineering students, support their success as scholars and enable them to leverage a community of students, staff, and alumni to achieve excellence in engineering. MEP hosts a variety of activities throughout the year to enhance the student experience.
oSTEMOut in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM) is a student organization at the University of Urbana-Champaign dedicated to the development of LGBTQIA+ students in STEM fields. We host all sorts of events throughout the year; these include resume workshops, lots of social events, tech talks, networking events, and more. Every year, we attend the oSTEM National Conference.
Campus Offices and Resources
Our campus features a number of offices and resources dedicated to lead our campus toward an increasingly diverse and inclusive community that is open, just, and welcoming for all.
As part of the Office of Student Affairs, this office connects students with the cultural centers listed below, events and programs, additional resources, and links to report acts of intolerance.
Serves as a resource to campus units on issues such as accessibility and accommodations, affirmative action, discrimination and harassment prevention, and Title IX.
Provides information, resources, and guidance for undocumented, DACA, and those affected by immigration reform.
Academic mentoring and programs, tutoring, federal TRIO programs and services.
Internal and external fellowship support, programs (such as the Sloan University Center of Exemplary Mentoring), summer research opportunities, and more.
The Grainger College of Engineering programs MERGE and SURGE are used to develop a diverse and highly motivated pool of engineers.
The mission of the IDEA Institute is to support scholarship, innovation, collaboration, and leadership in the areas of inclusion, diversity, equity, and access at all levels: faculty, staff, students, and K-12 outreach/public engagement.
SURGE Fellowship Program
This award recognizes outstanding incoming graduate students in The Grainger College of Engineering, who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, plan to obtain a doctoral degree on a full-time basis, and come from communities that are underrepresented in engineering. The SURGE Fellowship is a 5-year fellowship program that combines financial support with opportunities for networking and community building.
Mavis Future Faculty Fellows Program
The Mavis Academy was developed to train the next generation of great engineering faculty. Fellows participate in a series of workshops, seminars, and activities that cover various aspects of an academic career. Workshop themes include describing life as a faculty member, writing cover letters and CVs, preparing for campus interviews, and defining and achieving success as a faculty member.
Illinois Sloan Scholars Program
The Sloan University Center of Exemplary Mentoring broadens participation in advanced engineering, physical and mathematical science careers, and strengthens the talent pool in these fields while increasing equitable opportunities in the U.S. The grant supports doctoral students underrepresented in STEM. In addition to financial support, Sloan Scholars receive guidance from a team of mentors.
Colman Inclusive Leadership Program
The Colman Program invites graduate students to participate in an immersive, three-day program that provides the skills and knowledge to support their development as leaders in graduate school and beyond. CILP introduces students to a range of practical skills, leadership theory, and special topics through readings, interactive group activities, case studies, and discussions.
Cultural Resource Centers
Our campus is home to cultural and resource centers that serve our diverse community and foster a climate of respect, tolerance, and the free exchange of ideas.
The mission of Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center is to provide a network of programs and support services promoting the individual, social, cultural and academic well-being of Illinois’ African American students. Opened in fall 1969 in response to calls from students, the African American Cultural Center at Illinois was rededicated in 2004 to former Director Bruce D. Nesbitt, a trailblazer for opportunity and equality who inspired more than two decades of university students. BNAACC continues this work today as a vehicle for self-expression and leadership enhancement for students of African descent through workshops, seminars, and performing arts groups.
The University of Illinois has one of the largest and most vibrant Asian American university communities in the Midwest, where 1 in 4 students is Asian American or Asian international. The Asian American Cultural Center promotes cross-cultural understanding of Asian American and Asian international experiences and provides educational and cultural support for Asians and Asian Americans in our university community. Opened in fall 2005, the Asian American Cultural Center provides the University of Illinois community with space to gather and share the diverse and rich cultures that are a part of the Asian American experience.
Diversity & Social Justice Education provides courses, programs, workshops, and professional trainings to prepare Illinois students to work and live in a diverse global society. DiversityEd offers students, faculty, and staff opportunities to build their own capacity to promote critical thinking, compassion, and equity.
Since its founding in 1974, La Casa Cultural Latina has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to Latina/o students and the campus community, as well as local and global communities. La Casa reflects the diversity of Latina/o cultures and exemplifies el éxito Latino that shapes the Americas in our contemporary world. The mission of La Casa Cultural Latina is to promote a welcoming and dynamic atmosphere through the development of educational, cultural, socio-political, and social programs that lead to greater recruitment, retention, advancement, and empowerment of Latina/o students.
The mission of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center is to foster an environment that is open, safe, and inclusive for people of all sexualities and gender identities. The Center is a resource not only for the LGBT community but for the entire University community. It exists for anyone who is interested in learning about LGBT people, issues, and concerns. The LGBT Resource Center seeks to help in the efforts to address homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, and heterosexist attitudes and beliefs on the campus, and to work to make the environment safe and affirming for all students, faculty, staff, and LGBT students, faculty, and staff in particular.
The Native American House serves as a support and resource center for all students, faculty, staff and the community, providing programs and resources that allow people to expand their cultural and academic experiences at the University of Illinois. After nearly 15 years of Native student protests and lobbying efforts, the Native American House opened in 2002 with the mission to build a Native-centered learning community. All students, faculty, staff, and community members are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the many educational, cultural, and social programs tailored about Native American and Indigenous cultures, peoples, and current events.
At the Women’s Resources Center, we aim to support and connect students by linking them with faculty, alumnae, staff, community leaders and other women students through programs, workshops, mentorship, meals, fun activities, and networking events. The Women’s Resources Center was established to empower women and strengthen alliances with men, offer opportunities for all students, including trans and gender non-conforming students, build leadership skills, challenge sexism, racism, heterosexism, ableism, and all forms of social oppression, and achieve greater gender equity and cultural diversity. We’re committed to creating community among students, student groups, and the University of Illinois. We’re committed to YOU! All genders are welcome at the Women’s Resources Center!
International Education enhances opportunities for students to engage with cultures from around the world. We promote deeper campus internationalization through supporting the success of international students, enhancing the global competencies of all students, and creating meaningful cultural exchange between international and domestic students.
Mental Health and Wellness
Our campus created a centralized site to connect students, parents/families, faculty, and staff with services for mental health, wellness, access, and accommodation. We strive to provide supportive, judgment-free, and collaborative solutions specific to individuals and groups.
Is something missing?
Let us know of any other resources that should be included, or if you have additional needs that are not addressed by these resources. We're here to help!