Learn more about our VPSE Programs:

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) Program

The fundamental objective of MMUF is to increase the number of minority students, and others with a demonstrated commitment to eradicating racial disparities, who will pursue Ph.D.s in core fields in the arts and sciences. The program aims to reduce over time the serious underrepresentation on the faculties of individuals from certain minority groups, as well as to address the attendant educational consequences of these disparities.

Educational Talent Search

The Educational Talent Search Program is designed to help eligible students complete high school and enroll in postsecondary school. Educational Talent Search provides approximately 600 students in grades 6-12 with support services that instill within them a college-going culture and promote the academic and personal development necessary for entry into and success in postsecondary school.


PENNCAP (University of Pennsylvania College Achievement Program) works closely with a diverse group of academically-talented students, many from low-income and/or first-generation backgrounds, to support their success at Penn. Staff provide coaching, counseling, academic assistance, and cultural enrichment so that students can more confidently move towards their personal and academic goals.


PennKIPP is an innovative partnership to recruit, support and train academically talented graduates of Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) charter schools nationwide. Our diverse community of scholars may also identify as first-generation and or low-income.  Since the partnership began in 2013, 82 students have participated in PennKIPP.  Over 46 students have graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and 12 are enrolled in graduate or professional school programs.


The University of Pennsylvania, in response to the unprecedented disruptions to the delivery of education and college access supports during the COVID-19 pandemic, is offering the Penn Rising Senior Summer Academy: a completely free, online program open to all 14,000+ rising seniors attending School District of Philadelphia public and charter high schools in these extraordinary times.

Provost’s Summer Mentorship Program

The Provost’s Summer Mentorship Program is a summer college preparatory experience offered to Philadelphia 10th and 11th grade public and charter school students. Admitted students were paired with one of our five affiliate University of Pennsylvania Professional Schools. Participants experience hands-on, experiential learning, through a creatively designed curricula developed to highlight and offer exploration into various career choices.

High School Upward Bound Program

The University of Pennsylvania High School Upward Bound Program is a college preparatory program designed to motivate and prepare students in the program for the successful pursuit of a four-year college education. The program provides high school students, with academic, career and cultural enrichment resources. Access to these resources help students to graduate from high school and increase the rate at which low income, first generation college students matriculate and graduate from post-secondary institutions.

Upward Bound Math Science Program

The Upward Bound Math Science Program aims to strengthen the educational, scientific and cultural foundations of highly motivated high school students from low-income and or first-generation-to-college backgrounds, thereby enhancing their ability to matriculate into competitive college environments.

Veterans Upward Bound

The Veterans Upward Bound program is a free, college preparatory program for eligible veterans federally funded with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The program offers college preparatory services to include academic assessment, advising, and counseling; non-credited academic classes and tutoring; college access; and educational support services. The program is intended to encourage, empower, and acclimatize college-bound veterans for the rigors of post-secondary education and training. The primary goal is to fully prepare eligible veterans to enter the college of their choice, be successful in college, and to graduate from college.

VPSE Graduate Assistant Positions Available

The Division of the Vice Provost for Student Engagement is currently seeking Penn graduate assistants for a number of positions available. Interested applicants should send a resume/CV and letter of interest to Dr. Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum at vpse@upenn.edu with the subject line “VPSE Graduate Assistant Position”.