Graduate Preparation Institute

 GPI 2015

The Graduate Preparation Institute (GPI) is an intensive four-week undergraduate summer research program hosted at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.  We welcome applications from college juniors and seniors who belong to historically underrepresented groups in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

In addition to 30+ hours of research a week, GPI fellows attend a series of workshops where they learn how to identify graduate programs, prepare competitive applications for graduate school, identify sources of funding and much more!  GPI fellows attend a number of social events that create opportunities to develop new networks and friendships with students from across the Southwest.

The 2016 Graduate Preparation Institute will take place June 12, 2016 through July 9, 2016.

The University of Utah Graduate School Diversity Office and the Office of Equity and Diversity work collaboratively to administer the Graduate Preparation Institute. GPI fellows are expected to complete the following:

  • Conduct 30+ hours/week of research in a STEM laboratory
  • Identify graduate programs aligned with their research interests
  • Prepare a statement of purpose
  • Prepare a curriculum vitae
  • Attend a GRE preparation course
  • Attend a seminar on graduate fellowships
  • Learn about student and mentor roles and responsibilities
  • Prepare and deliver a presentation of their summer research

GPI 2015

Testimonies from 2015 GPI fellows:

“I enjoyed the company of other fellow students in the GPI program.  We had a lot of fun hanging out together on our own such as visiting Arches National Park, dining downtown together, movie night a couple times a week in the common room, and best of all, practicing our research presentations together for hours the night before and ended up having no questions asked the next day. It was a very positive and great learning experience working in the lab everyday alongside a research professor and PhD students. They’re so friendly and supportive all the time. Those workshops about applying for graduate school and fellowship are very helpful.  I never knew ‘you should not pay for graduate school.’ I feel more prepared for graduate school after GPI”

“GRE prep course is what I enjoyed the most. It was very helpful. I enjoyed the exposure to working in a lab with graduate students. I enjoyed the workshops about applying, funding graduate school etc. They were very helpful. The homework was also helpful in helping me choose the right field for graduate school.”



GPI Students in labEligibility

  • College junior or senior
  • U.S. Citizen or permanent resident
  • Student majoring in a STEM field
  • A cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Commit four weeks to the program
  • Demonstrate interest in attending Graduate School

Consideration is given to applicants from historically underrepresented communities that include, but are not limited to:

  • African American
  • Native American / Alaska Native
  • Pacific Islander / Native Hawaiian
  • U.S. Hispanic / Latina(o)
  • Women in the STEM Fields
  • First generation students
  • Low income background


  • Round-trip airfare
  • University summer housing
  • University meal plan
  • $2,000 research stipend
  • Salt Lake City public transportation pass

Application Documents

  • Application form (available in December)
  • Resume or CV
  • All official undergraduate transcripts.
  • Two letters of recommendation from a faculty (strongly preferred) or staff member who can attest to your academic achievement. The letter should be in a sealed envelope if mailed or emailed directly from your recommender.

Application Deadline

Complete applications need to be received in the Graduate School Diversity Office by February 1, 2016 via email or mail.  Notifications will be made in March.  If you are emailing your application, email your transcript as a PDF to the address below. The mailing address is:

Graduate Preparation Institute
University of Utah Graduate School
302 Park Building
Salt Lake City, UT 84112

GPI 2015

For more information about the GPI program, please contact:

Araceli Frias, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean for Diversity