The University of California's Leadership Excellence through Advanced DegreeS (UC LEADS) program prepares promising students for advanced education in science, technology, mathematics and engineering (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.

Once chosen as UC LEADS scholars, the 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 the UC 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. This action plan includes:

  • Academic year research
  • Paid summer research experience
  • Participation in the systemwide UC LEADS Symposium
  • Attendance at professional or scientific society meetings
  • Travel to other UC campuses
  • Academic enrichment activities, including preparation for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)