What does the program cost?
NOTHING! Students selected to The Diversity Project will have their airfare paid for and will receive a stipend as well. Housing is provided both in at UCLA and in Mo’orea, and all meals in Mo’orea are covered as well. You’ll receive additional funds to help offset costs of meals in LA, although many of those are provide as well. We also buy you snorkeling gear that’s yours to keep, and provide SCUBA gear for you to use during the program. The one thing we can’t cover is the cost of a passport and any vaccinations that your doctor may recommend.
What are the project requirements?
We typically require a 3.0 GPA, but if you’re a bit lower than that, and there are extenuating circumstances, we’re flexible. It’s helpful if you swim, but we’ve accepted students into the program who couldn’t, but decided to learn to take advantage of the SCUBA training. You will need a passport, and presently, to travel to French Polynesia, you have to be fully vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19. Other than that, be open to learning, have a good attitude, and be willing to be part of a team.
What makes a compelling application?
Students make themselves stand out in various ways, and everyone brings something unique to the program. Things to consider including in your personal statement are 1) any research experience that you may have had, 2) personal challenges that you’ve faced, 3) work you’ve done that gives back to the community, 4) experience mentoring/tutoring, 5) anything that gives us a feeling of who you are as a person. This shouldn’t be viewed as a checklist, or an exhaustive list, but just some tips to help guide you.
Is this the only year the program will run?
The Diversity Project has run continuously since 2005. We have funding through Summer 2023. We hope to continue this important program indefinitely!
Do I have to be a UCLA student to apply?
No, the program is open to undergraduates from throughout the United States and U.S. Territories. We have supported students from more than 20 different colleges and universities.
What are the dates of the program ?
Because Diversity Project participants come from different universities, the timing of The Diversity Project varies each year to accomodate the schedules of individual students. If selected, we will work with you on the timing of the program. It is typically 10 weeks, and we ask that you participate fully for that time.
Do I have to be a U.S. Citizen?
Presently the program is only open to undergraduates who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States and U.S. Territories. Unfortunately, foreign nationals are not eligible to apply.
Can a graduating senior still apply?
Yes! We realize that sometimes it takes students longer to find their path. As such, we are flexible and have taken graduating seniors into TDP, although the majority of our students are rising juniors or seniors when they participate in the program.
Can a freshman apply?
Yes! Freshman may be less competitive than older applicants, but apply! If you don’t get in this year, there is always next year.
If I didn’t get accepted this year, should I apply again?
Absolutely! Freshmen and Sophomores who apply are typically more competitive in their subsequent application, and several students have been accepted on their second or third application.
When will acceptance decisions be announced?
Typically we try to make final decisions by mid February or early March. We try to do this early because of the extra time needed to prepare for working internationally.
Do I have to know how to SCUBA dive or snorkel?
No! The program will provide funding for you to take a basic SCUBA course, and will train you as an AAUS Scientific Diver.
Do I need to know how to swim?
No! However, students who can swim will get the most out of The Diversity Project as swimming is a prerequisite for SCUBA. A number of students were accepted to TDP without knowing how to swim. However, they subsequently committed to learning and because certified scientific SCUBA divers.
What are field conditions like?
Conditions can be variable, but since we’re in the tropics, it’s usually warm. During field work, we stay at the Gump South Pacific Research Station. Rooms are modest, and there are typically 3 to a room. Don’t expect the Ritz Carlton, but the scenery above and below water are spectacular. Visit the Gallery Page and the Field Videos page to see what it’s like in the program.
What’s the food like?
The food varies. Being in French Polynesia, fish and chicken feature prominently. Breakfasts are typically simple; baguettes, jam, scrambled eggs, cheese. Lunches can be pasta, stews, occasionally sandwiches. Dinners typically feature Polynesian food, although pizza makes a regular appearance. Expect lots of salad and fruit as well.
Do I need vaccinations?
Presently, you have to be fully vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19. For other vaccinations, check with your personal physician.
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