University Fellowships Mark

Students

Apply for the Spark Program

The Spark Program offers select undergraduate students the opportunity to learn about high impact educational experiences, campus resources, and fellowship opportunities, while providing them with the tools to develop competitive fellowship applications. It is modeled after the program developed at University of Buffalo.

Faculty are encouraged to recommend students and specify in the comments that the recommendation is for Spark.

About the Program

  • A joint initiative between the University Fellowships Office and Penn State University Libraries
  • A series of workshops held in the spring for first-year students and in the fall for second-year students
  • Participants are expected to meet individually with the University Fellowships Office and Penn State University Libraries

Eligibility

  • Students must submit an online application to be considered for the program
  • Selected students should have a GPA of 3.3 or higher and have already made a positive impression on faculty and staff
  • Participants must commit to attending at least six of the workshops

The opportunities that are discussed do not cover the expenses of medical, dental, or pharmacy school. Therefore, the Spark Program is not the best fit for students who plan on pursuing these career paths. In addition, the fellowship opportunities discussed in the program are available to U.S. citizens only.

First-Year Students

The program runs Tuesday evenings over the course of eight weeks from February 5th - March 26th, 2019. (Dinner is provided!) Throughout the program, participants are introduced to such topics as navigating obstacles, leadership on campus and in the local community, and making the most of their undergraduate careers at Penn State. The program is designed to give participants the opportunity to develop their critical thinking and technical writing, envision their future, and create a plan to help them along their envisioned path, ultimately helping participants develop into competitive candidates for major fellowship opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Application and Decision Timeline

  • November – Application Opens
  • January 11 – Application Deadline
  • January 18 – Decision Notification

Application closed.

Second-Year Students

The program runs Tuesday evenings (6:30 - 8:00 PM) from October 9th - November 27th, 2018, excluding Thanksgiving break. (Dinner is provided!) Throughout the program, participants are introduced to such topics as developing a personal mission statement, requesting strong letters of recommendation, and making the most of their undergraduate careers at Penn State. The program is designed to give participants the opportunity to develop their critical thinking and technical writing, envision their future, and work on the application materials for one of four opportunities (Fulbright U.K. Summer Institutes, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, Student Engagement Network Grant, Erickson Discovery grant) or a pre-approved opportunity (research experience or internship).

Application and Decision Timeline

  • August – Application Opens
  • September 14 – Application Deadline
  • September 21 – Decision Notification

Get started! Apply now!

Boucke Building
University Fellowships Office
321 Boucke Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-8199
univfellowships@psu.edu