Diversity Programs

A core part of UIC Engineering's mission is to increase the diversity of the engineering field. We pursue this goal in two ways: by recruiting students who reflect a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds and by providing programs that ensure the academic and professional success of students who choose UIC.

What do we mean by diversity?

three students working on a computer in the Engineering Innovation Building

At UIC, we take a broad view of diversity. Demographic diversity is important to us, and it is reflected among our student, faculty, and administrators. Going further, we also feel that diversity represents “the totality of the ways that people are similar and different,” to quote a university document that guides our thinking on the subject.

This means we seek to develop a community that is inclusive by race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation and identity, disability, national origin and citizenship status, age, language, culture, religion, and economic status. These criteria hold special importance in cases when similarities and differences within them are used in our society as a basis for unfair advantage and inequity.

Our concept of diversity generally focuses on “identity” as an organizing principle. UIC recognizes that people develop personal and collective identities based on the resonance that they perceive with various elements of their own background and the world around them. Our goal is that all of our students feel respected, fully empowered to be themselves in a welcoming environment, and, centrally to our purpose as an institution, prepared to thrive in the world of engineering.

No matter who you are or where you come from, UIC is a place you can call home.

  • #9 UIC's rank in U.S. News & World Report for campus diversity

  • 83% of freshmen call diversity a key element of why they chose UIC

  • 25% of first-year students report having a first language other than English

Diversity programming

These are some of the programs that allow us to recruit a diverse student community and prepare students for success in engineering:

  • President’s Award Program: A four-year scholarship program that promotes student success and academic excellence in collaboration with the entire UIC community. The program includes a Summer College and First-Year Experience along with special opportunities such as undergraduate research, study abroad, specialized seminars, and career and graduate/professional school preparation.
  • S-STEM Scholars: With support from the National Science Foundation, the College of Engineering provides four-year partial scholarships, academic support, and one-on-one career mentoring to talented undergraduate students whose families face economic challenges. The program has a 94-percent retention rate, and its first group of students has an average GPA of 3.5.
  • Supplemental instruction: This is a “for students, by students” tutoring program that covers a variety of required engineering courses. Led by students who succeeded in that particular course, sessions include instruction, study techniques, and supplementary test preparation.
  • Student organizations open to all: The College of Engineering is home to organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Arab American Association of Engineers and Architects, Women in Engineering, and Veterans in Engineering, all of which contribute to a greater sense of belonging and community. The best part? All of these organizations are open to anyone, regardless of background, setting the stage for student activities that reflect the full spectrum of who we are.

Learn more about our diversity programs

One College of Engineering administrative office that is especially dedicated to diversity is the Minority Engineering Recruitment and Retention Program. Visit its website to learn more about our overall philosophy, the work we do to ensure that students of all backgrounds have access to excellence, and the specific support programs available.

Go to the MERRP website