UD’s new Spectrum Scholars program promotes a welcoming environment for undergraduate students with autism at UD, enhancing their ability to thrive in academia and campus life. In collaboration with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and administered by the University’s Center for Disabilities Studies, a select cohort of undergraduate students with autism receive comprehensive supports during their undergraduate experience as they work toward a degree and a successful career. These supports include weekly coaching, peer mentorship and career development opportunities. To apply for the 2020-2021 academic year’s cohort of Spectrum Scholars, click here.

Who should consider Spectrum Scholars?

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 for the cohort of Spectrum Scholars, 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. Currently, comprehensive supports 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).

The Spectrum Scholars experience

For the students accepted into this competitive cohort – the Spectrum Scholars themselves – coaching supports begin freshman year and continue through graduation. Students drive the coaching agenda, which focuses on critical executive functioning skills, communication strategies and independent-living skills. Faculty liaisons in the two home academic departments (CIS and ECE) provide individualized advising. Spectrum Scholars also participate in career development opportunities – mentoring, job site visits and internships – at businesses such as JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Spectrum Scholars staff provide training and consultation to UD faculty, staff, students and community partners on recognizing and promoting talent among people with autism, benefitting the entire community.

How to apply

You can find a printable checklist to guide you through the application process on our applications page.

  1. University of Delaware Application. 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. Part One of the Spectrum Scholars Application. While waiting for UD’s admission decision you may complete part one of the Spectrum Scholars application and submit it to our staff.
  3. Notification of UD’s Admission Decision. Once you receive your UD admission decision, contact Spectrum Scholars. If you were accepted to UD we will set a date with you for an on-campus interview. Both the student applicant and a family member/guardian must attend the interview.
  4. Part Two of the Spectrum Scholars Application. Complete part two of the Spectrum Scholars application and submit it to Spectrum Scholars at least 24 hours before your interview.
  5. On-campus Interview. Attend the on-campus interview, which will be about two hours long.
  6. Notification of Spectrum Scholar’s Admission Decision. You will hear from Spectrum Scholars within two weeks of your interview.

Want more information?

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Interested in becoming a peer mentor or social skills coach to Spectrum Scholars? Please contact us at 302-831-4640 or spectrum-scholars-info@udel.edu.

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.