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Undergraduate Professional Development Grant

The University College Undergraduate Professional Development (UPD) grant program, formally the Minority Professional Development grant, provides financial assistance to selected undergraduate students who wish to participate in certain academic or professional development activities of their choosing. Grants will be awarded for use during the Fall 2015, Spring 2016 and Summer 2016 semesters. (For the summer semester, grant funds must be used for activities commencing prior to July 1, 2016.)


The UPD grant is available to undergraduates who:

  • Are enrolled full-time during the current academic year
  • Are in good academic standing
  • Have a demonstrated financial need
  • Are a first generation student or are in a group traditionally underrepresented in higher education

Grant Uses

The UPD grant may be used to supplement the cost to participate in:

  • Academic conferences (related to student’s major) as a general participant or presenter
  • Study abroad programs
  • Certain internship programs with associated travel and housing expenses (e.g. the Smithsonian Institute, the Washington Center, etc.)
  • Faculty-supervised undergraduate research projects

Selection Process

To be considered as a recipient of an UPD grant, an application with supporting documentation must be submitted to University College, located in Fell 324. The UPD Grant Selection Committee will review all applications. In selecting grant recipients, the Committee will consider each applicant’s academic performance, financial need, and the academic significance of the proposed activity. Additionally, preference may be given to applicants who are not previous UPD grant recipients. Applicants are encouraged to apply early.

Download the UPD Expense form, which will be required to upload as part of the online application process.

Apply Now!

Recommended Application Deadlines

For Fall activities: Friday, October 16

For Spring & Summer activities: Friday, February 17

Applications will be accepted after the stated deadlines until 2016-2017 grant funds are depleted, however, they should be submitted prior to the stated deadlines for maximum consideration.

Applications & Questions: Contact Christa Platt at

(309) 438-3714 or

Illinois State University

University College
Normal, Il 61790-4060
Phone: (309) 438-3217

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