DePaul University Center for Access & Attainment > Programs > Arnold Mitchem Fellows

Arnold Mitchem Fellows

The Arnold Mitchem Fellows program, named after Arnold L. Mitchem, PhD, is a DePaul University program designed to prepare sophomore status undergraduates from backgrounds underrepresented in higher education who possess excellent academic records and a commitment to complete a graduate degree for doctoral study and entrance to academic careers.

Aligned with the TRIO McNair Scholars Program and connected to pre-college partnership and pathway programs for Chicago schools managed by the Center for Access and Attainment, Mitchem Fellows serves students beginning in the sophomore year.

Program Overview

The Mitchem Fellows program is open to high-performing students from populations underrepresented in their fields in doctoral studies and the professoriate. The program extends McNair's capacity primarily by serving two categories of students not eligible for McNair: those who do not meet TRIO's stringent income and first-generation status eligibility criteria, and those who aspire to faculty careers in medicine and other STEM fields where the PhD may not be the terminal degree.

The program has four main objectives: improve students' academic skills, particularly in terms of critical thinking, writing and research; improve students' awareness of graduate school; prepare participants for summer research experiences either at DePaul, other universities or abroad; and prepare participants to submit successful graduate school applications.

An important component of the program focuses on conducting research with faculty abroad. The Summer Research and Service Experience (SRSE) aims to provide a unique learning experience for participants in the Mitchem Fellows program by helping them prepare for graduate study through an intensive research and service abroad experience and worldviews enrichment activities.

In addition, the program provides participants with guidance to develop a strong supportive network on campus (e.g., with faculty and peers involved in academic activities) and will provide funding for participants to visit graduate schools and attend academic conferences, all of which are critical in building awareness of academic careers and fostering relationships with faculty at graduate schools where students may apply.​

How to Apply

To be eligible for participation in the Mitchem Fellows program, students must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Qualify as either a first-generation college student (neither parent has a bachelor's degree) whose household meets the low-income guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Education; or be a member of a group that is underrepresented in graduate education (currently defined by the U.S. Department of Education as Native American, Alaskan Native, Hispanic/Latino and African-American)
  • Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States
  • Be a first-time degree-seeking undergraduate student at DePaul University in good academic standing
  • Hold sophomore or junior status by the time of program enrollment
  • Possess and maintain a competitive cumulative grade point average (2.7 in STEM fields and 3.0 or above for social sciences and humanities)
  • Have a sincere desire to complete a PhD

Note: Meeting the eligibility requirements does not guarantee admission into the program.

Before applying, please read this document:

Click here to apply to the program.​

About Arnonld Mitchem

Arnold L. Mitchem, PhD, president of the Council for Opportunity in Education, has been a voice for low-income, first-generation students and individuals with disabilities his entire career. Thanks to his work, the federally funded TRIO Programs (the largest discretionary program in the U.S. Department of Education) have expanded by nearly 400 percent and now serve more than 872,000 students at 1,200 colleges and universities.

Dr. Mitchem graduated from the University of Southern Colorado in 1965. Before receiving his PhD in foundations of education at Marquette University in 1981, he studied European history as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at the University of Wisconsin. He began his career on the history faculty at Marquette University in Milwaukee. In 1969, he was named director of the Educational Opportunity Program at Marquette, serving in that role until 1986, when he relocated to Washington, D.C., to represent low-income and disabled students nationally. Dr. Mitchem is the first and only president of the Council for Opportunity in Education.

Dr. Mitchem is a member of the Executive Committee of the European Access Network as well as a former trustee of the College Board, and is past president of the Committee for Education Funding, a D.C.-based coalition of national education associations. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Marquette University.

Mitchem has received honorary doctoral degrees from nine American universities, including DePaul. In addition, DePaul is one of several universities to offer fellowships named after Dr. Mitchem to encourage both opportunity and achievement in higher education.​

For more information, contact the Arnold Mitchem Fellows program at:

Arnold Mitchem Fellows Program
Schmitt Academic Center, Suite 166
2320 N. Kenmore Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 325-4743