Spectrum Scholars students and faculty on UD campus

Thank you for your interest in Spectrum Scholars!

UD’s new Spectrum Scholars initiative supports students with autism and promotes autism acceptance and inclusion in the University community through a tiered system of services provided at the individual and community level. In collaboration with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and administered by the University’s Center for Disabilities Studies, Spectrum Scholars provides comprehensive support services to a group of selected “Spectrum Scholars,” general support to autistic students across UD’s campus, and to UD faculty, staff, students, businesses and the community.

Click here to view the Spectrum Scholars FAQ.

What should I do if I am interested in receiving supports from Spectrum Scholars?

For those interested in:

Supports for selected “Spectrum Scholars”: The Spectrum Scholars application for comprehensive services for those entering UD as a first year student in 2023 will be posted in the early fall.

Supports for students with autism across UD’s campus: Students not selected as Spectrum Scholars may still be eligible to receive group-based or other specialized supports. Contact us for more information at spectrum-scholars-info@udel.edu. We will be in touch!

Supports for UD faculty, staff, students, businesses & the community: Contact us with your requests for training and/or consultation at spectrum-scholars-info@udel.edu or 302-831-4640.

Click here for more detail about Spectrum Scholars supports.

Who should consider applying to become a “Spectrum Scholar” and receive the comprehensive support system?

The Spectrum Scholars program is designed for talented in-state and out-of-state students willing to participate in coaching, mentoring and other activities, in addition to their rigorous academic programs at the University of Delaware. Students with autism who are ready to develop and pursue their goals, increase their self-awareness and become effective self-advocates are encouraged to apply.

In order to be eligible to apply to become a Spectrum Scholar, students must be offered admission to the University of Delaware as full-time, matriculated undergraduate students entering their freshman year on UD’s main campus in Newark. Students must also have a clinical diagnosis or educational classification of an autism spectrum disorder (e.g., autism, PDD-NOS, ASD, Asperger Syndrome).

Currently, comprehensive supports (coaching and peer mentoring) are not provided to part-time students, non-degree-seeking students, graduate students, students on UD’s satellite campuses, transfer students or students in the SEED program. Preference will be given to students who declare their major as Computer & Information Sciences (CIS) or Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE), although students with other majors will also be considered.

How to apply

We are accepting and reviewing applications for freshmen beginning Fall ’22.

  1. Complete the University of Delaware admission application through Common App. If you are not admitted to UD, we unfortunately cannot accept you into the Spectrum Scholars program.
  2. Complete the Spectrum Scholars application. You will need proof of an autism spectrum condition and the contact information for two references.
  3. Reference forms will be sent to contacts you identify.
  4. Schedule and attend a one-hour interview with Spectrum Scholars staff.
  5. Spectrum Scholars staff will inform you of your Spectrum Scholars Admission Decision. Applicants who interview before March 31st, 2022 will be informed of their admission status by April 15, 2022.

Are you interested in being a peer mentor?

Social and peer-related forms of support can make a big impact on students’ success in learning about and becoming part of a campus community. It is for this reason that we seek UD sophomore, junior and first semester senior volunteers who are interested in building a supportive, positive relationship with at least one student enrolled as a Spectrum Scholar. It is our expectation that each mentor will be paired with at least one – hopefully two – Spectrum Scholars. Mentors are expected to invest three-to-five hours weekly in direct student support and training, in addition to periodic group social events.

For more details and to apply to be a Peer Mentor, please click here to access our Peer Mentor Application.

Want more information?

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions (printable version).

Are you faculty or a staff member who would like more information on how to support students with autism? Please contact us at 302-831-4640 or spectrum-scholars-info@udel.edu.