First-year students University-wide can now apply to Spark Program

Spark helps students get a jump on opportunities; deadline is Jan. 31

Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Applications are now open for the Spark Program, which helps Penn State undergraduate students learn about high-impact educational experiences, campus resources and fellowship opportunities while also providing tools to develop competitive fellowship applications.

The spring semester program is open to first-year students at all Penn State campuses. The link to the application/interest statement form is available here. Sophomores can apply to Spark during the fall semester.

The Spark Program is a joint initiative from the Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Mentoring office and University Libraries. Participating first-year students will attend a series of seven workshops covering topics such as navigating obstacles, student engagement, undergraduate research, and how to make the most of their time at Penn State. Students will have the opportunity to develop their critical-thinking and technical writing skills, while mentors will guide them as they envision their future and create a plan.

The Spark Program will meet each Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m., Feb. 16 to March 30.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to recommend students to the program.

Students must be in their first year of higher education, have a GPA of 3.3 or higher, and be able to commit to attending at least six of the seven workshops. The program is not for credit, and is completely voluntary.

Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Mentoring is part of Penn State Undergraduate Education, the academic administrative unit that provides leadership and coordination for University-wide programs and initiatives in support of undergraduate teaching and learning at Penn State. Learn more about Undergraduate Education at

Last Updated January 22, 2021