SIP’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Science Internship Program at UC Santa Cruz offers a transformative educational experience that significantly enhances students’ academic trajectory. As the United States struggles with systemic racial inequalities while simultaneously battling the global pandemic, we recognize that education plays a vitally important role in the fight against systemic racism. For this reason, SIP has historically worked hard to provide opportunities for all students to participate in the program and we make an intentional effort to recruit students from historically excluded backgrounds. The SIP team remains steadfast in our commitment to battle racial inequalities in academia. We will continue to increase the diversity of students in our program.

About a third of 2020 SIP interns face societal obstacles to participation:

  • Low income
  • First-generation college aspirant
  • Underrepresented racial ethnicity

SIP has launched a new initiative, Creating Equity in STEM (CREST) as the focus point of these efforts.



SIP is open to all high-school students


Read more about SIP’s ongoing efforts to increase diversity …

The percentage has gone from 0% in year 1 of SIP (2009) and 13% in year 2 to well over 50% in 2015–2020. Of the 268 high schools that have been represented in SIP so far, approximately two thirds are public schools. The program is actively seeking to increase the fraction/number of public school participants.
In the past, SIP has offered limited financial assistance to students/families who could not afford the cost of housing. Now SIP offers a number of need-based full and partial scholarships to offset the academic program, campus housing (room and board), and transportation fees for students from low-income families. About a third of all SIP interns in any given year are on full scholarships. A total of 72 full partial need-based scholarships were offered in 2020, and this corresponded to about a third of the pool of 225 interns that summer. The full scholarships covered all tuition costs. There were no shuttle and room/board costs last year when the program was 100% online in 2020, but these costs are also covered in the in-person edition of the program.

Did you know that students from 268 different high schools have participated in SIP?
SIP may have started with three students from a private school in San Jose (Harker) in 2009, but in the decade since its inception, the program has included students from 158 different California high schools, 54 high schools in other US states, and 56 international schools. See the full list of high schools below.


Black = California, Blue = out of state, Red = international, Italics = private school, Non-italicized = public school


Partner Organizations:

In an effort to increase/maintain the diversity of its applicant and intern pools and to specifically reach out to disadvantaged students, SIP has built built partnerships with several after-school and summer programs that focus on underserved high school students. The SIP program continues to have close ties with the COSMOS (California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science), MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) Schools Program, and GIE (Girls in Engineering) programs in UC Santa Cruz’s Educational Partnership Center (EPC) in order to ensure that there is a steady flow of students from these programs to SIP.  See below for a full list of SIP’s partner organizations.