Scholarship Opportunities

Project SURGE

Applications for Project SURGE are currently closed.

Project SURGE (Special education Urban Research for Greater Equity) builds on an existing doctoral program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to prepare six doctoral students from underrepresented groups to develop culturally responsive research to serve children and youth with disabilities with intensive support needs in urban environments. This interdisciplinary program will be guided by the following four competency areas: (a) special education policy processes and analysis, (b) special education pedagogy and program design, and teacher research in urban settings, (c) research methodologies to conduct sustainable interventions to underrepresented populations in under-resourced schools, and (d) collaboration with stakeholders (e.g. families, community entities, policy makers and other researchers). UIC is a Minority Serving Institution and a Research 1 university, making it a unique context for such preparation. Proven approaches will be used to recruit and retain students from underrepresented groups such as a cohort model that allows for doctoral scholars to move together through coursework.


  • Master’s Degree
  • Minimum GPA of 3.5
  • Undergraduate or graduate degree must include a major in special education
  • Priorty will be given to applicants who have a minimum of two years of special education teaching experience.
  • Accepted students must agree to a service obligation, a federal mandate that requires scholarship recipients to remain in the field for two years for every year of support.

Application Process

Applicants must complete three (3) applications, submitted to different UIC entities, and participate in an interview. SURGE scholarship applicants will not be reviewed unless a completed UIC Graduate College application is submitted by the deadline. The deadline for all applications was 5 p.m. on November 15th, 2017 and they must be submitted to the appropriate office. The 3 applications are:

-UIC Graduate College Application
-UIC Non-Degree Application (you will be applying as a non-degree student for Spring and Summer 2018. Please note that this is for initial admission only as you will start the program mid-year)
-Project SURGE Application

Information on all three application processes


For more information, please contact:

Samantha Walte
Project Coordinator