University of California Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees program is aimed to educate California's future leaders by preparing promising students for advanced education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The program is designed to identify upper-division undergraduate students with the potential to succeed in these disciplines, but who have experienced situations or conditions that have adversely impacted their advancement in their field of study.


To be eligible for selection, applicants must be

  1. Enrolled in, or about to be enrolled in, a UC undergraduate degree program in the sciences, technology, engineering, or mathematics;
  2. On track to receive a bachelor’s degree at the conclusion of the second year of the UC LEADS program (i.e. should apply prior to junior year or prior to the fourth year if on a five-year plan);
  3. In good academic standing in undergraduate degree program;
  4. Able to demonstrate potential for success in a graduate program; and,
  5. Citizens or permanent residents of the United States.


 As UC LEADS scholars students embark upon a two-year program of scientific research and graduate school preparation guided by individual Faculty Mentors. Scholars are provided with an excellent opportunity to explore their discipline, experience a research environment, and improve their opportunities for future study in their chosen field. The Scholar gains valuable educational experience, the University a better prepared and more diverse graduate applicant pool, and the State, well-educated future leaders. Each Scholar is mentored by a member of UC the faculty, who assists the student in designing a plan of research and enrichment activities fitted to the individual interests and academic goals of the Scholar.  

Action Plan:

  • academic year research
  • paid summer research experience
  • participation in the University-wide UC LEADS Symposium
  • attendance at professional or scientific society meetings
  • travel to another UC campus
  • academic enrichment activities, including preparation for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)



Click here to access the application

The application is due on Friday, February 12th, 2021.

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