A new program launched by UChicago CS PhD students will assist prospective students from marginalized or underrepresented backgrounds in computer science through the application process.

The Student Application Support Program (SASP), launching this fall, pairs applicants with current PhD students for advice and feedback on their application materials. The initiative was started by graduate students Arthur Borem and Jake Chanenson, who also sit on the department’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee.

Borem and Chanenson were inspired to start the support program by similar initiatives from CS departments at Cornell, University of Washington, and University of Colorado Boulder. Students at those schools wanted to offer peer support that applicants from marginalized backgrounds might lack, including informed perspectives on their curriculum vitae and personal statements from those who have already enrolled in graduate school.

“They can look at your application and hopefully pull out pieces that speak well of you, that maybe you aren’t highlighting,” Chanenson said. “We want to bring out the best qualities in applicants from marginalized backgrounds that maybe wouldn’t be picked up on when it comes to the application review. What we want is to create an equal playing field for all candidates.”

The program is open to any prospective student who self-identifies as part of an underrepresented group, whether based on race, gender, sexuality, educational background, or other criteria. Participation in the program will not be disclosed to the faculty committee reviewing applications.

Applicants will be paired with UChicago CS PhD students, matched on the basis of a similar background or shared research interests. Borem and Chanenson said that the early response from UChicago CS students has been enthusiastic, with many volunteering to participate this application season.

“I think one of the important things we learned is to make sure that we have the support of faculty and, especially, fellow PhD students to help advise prospective applicants and to provide feedback at scale,” Chanenson said. “Thankfully, we do have that support from our community. A lot of people are excited about this initiative and want to help out and make it happen.”

Applications for the Student Application Support Program (SASP) will be accepted from now until November 15th. The deadline for application to the UChicago CS PhD program is December 15 – learn more on our Admissions page.

Related News

More UChicago CS stories from this research area.
UChicago CS News

Associate Professor Diana Franklin Named ACM Distinguished Member

Dec 07, 2022
UChicago CS News

The Computing Pipeline: A Foundation for Diversifying Computer Science

Nov 28, 2022
UChicago CS News

Prof. Diana Franklin Discusses Quantum Computing Education on Entangled Things Podcast

Nov 03, 2022
UChicago CS News

CS Students Receive Job Offers at Grace Hopper Celebration

Oct 17, 2022
UChicago CS News

Borja Sotomayor Joins CRA Education Committee as Board Member

Aug 29, 2022
UChicago CS News

High School Students in College Prep Program Visit UChicago CS

Aug 23, 2022
UChicago CS News

New 2022-23 Faculty Add Expertise in Linguistics, Visualization, Economics, and Data Science Education

Aug 11, 2022
Video

Data Science Institute Summit

Jun 15, 2022
UChicago CS News

DSI Summer Lab Returns In-Person With 49 Students From Across the U.S.

Jun 14, 2022
UChicago CS News

UChicago CS Labs Join Museum of Science & Industry For Robot Block Party

Apr 20, 2022
UChicago CS News

Professor Andrew Chien Authors New Textbook, “Computer Architecture for Scientists”

Mar 16, 2022
UChicago CS News

University of Chicago, City Colleges of Chicago Join Forces to Increase Diversity in Science Careers

Dec 14, 2021
arrow-down-largearrow-left-largearrow-right-large-greyarrow-right-large-yellowarrow-right-largearrow-right-smallbutton-arrowclosedocumentfacebookfacet-arrow-down-whitefacet-arrow-downPage 1CheckedCheckedicon-apple-t5backgroundLayer 1icon-google-t5icon-office365-t5icon-outlook-t5backgroundLayer 1icon-outlookcom-t5backgroundLayer 1icon-yahoo-t5backgroundLayer 1internal-yellowinternalintranetlinkedinlinkoutpauseplaypresentationsearch-bluesearchshareslider-arrow-nextslider-arrow-prevtwittervideoyoutube