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NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program (NUFP)

Career and Workforce Development NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program (NUFP) Undergraduate

By mentoring students from traditionally underrepresented and historically disenfranchised populations, this semi-structured program diversifies and broadens the pipeline of our profession. Students and mentors apply as a pair. If  accepted into the program, students are then known as Fellows and have opportunities for scholarships, on-campus mentorship, and professional development events.

NUFP Mission

Because some students need more opportunities than others, NUFP creates possibilities and changes the landscape of student affairs and higher education.

The mission of the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program is to increase the number of historically disenfranchised and underrepresented professionals in student affairs and/or higher education, including but not limited to those of racial and ethnic-minority background; those having a disability; and those identifying as LGBTQ.


NUFP Program Elements

The following are the four main components of the NUFP. Fellows who successfully complete all four components of the program will achieve all of the learning outcomes.


On-Campus Mentorship

At the heart of NUFP is the ongiong exchange between the Fellow and mentor to develop a sense of what a career in students affairs and higher education might be like. Mentors serve a critical role in executing the goals and objectives of NUFP by engaging Fellows in mentoring and networking experiences, providing Fellows with knowledge, insight, and understanding of the professional opportunities available in student affairs and higher education, and creating experiences that the Fellows would otherwise not have.

Fellows and Mentors should meet in a formal advising session at least once a month. One of the first tasks for the two to accomplish is the development of goals for the year, as well as expectations for one another. How often will meetings occur? Are there publications or books that you would like to read and discuss? Is there a particular project to accomplish? Alone? Together? Put the answers to these questions in writing so that there is clarity about the direction for the year. Then, get started.

A research project completed by an alumna of the program indicates that the mentoring relationship is the greatest predictor of whether Fellows ultimately choose Student Affairs as their career path. Fellows should take full advantage of the opportunity to explore the profession with a well-experienced guide, the mentor.

Please see the NUFP Resources website for more specific information, including a goal setting worksheet.

Regional and Annual Conference Programming

Fellows are provided specific programming at NASPA's annual conference, as well as many regional conferences. Various scholarships are available to help defray the cost of attendance. 

Summer Internships

Fellows are offered the opportunity to apply and participate in a paid summer internship in student affairs or higher education, at an institution other than their own, as a means of broadening their experience base and their perspective on student affairs and higher education.

More information can be found on the Summer Internships webpage.

Dungy Leadership Institute

Fellows are invited to apply to and attend the Dungy Leadership Institute (DLI), a five-day workshop focused on skill building and career development. Formerly known as the Summer Leadership Institute and renamed after Executive Director Emeritus Gwendolyn Dungy in 2012, fellows have the opportunity to meet and interact with other Fellows and administrators from across the country, as well as student affairs administrators serving as institute faculty, at this event.


Who is eligible to participate in NUFP?

Undergraduate students carrying full-time enrollment (as defined by their institution) who identify as being a racial or ethnic minority, or individuals with a documented disability, are eligible to participate in NUFP. Annual application procedures and deadlines are noted on the NASPA website.

I am a full-time graduate student interested in NUFP. Am I eligible to apply?

NUFP is a program specifically for undergraduate students. NASPA supports a Knowledge Community for Graduate Students and New Professionals, which strives to meet the differing needs of graduate students.

How much does it cost to participate in NUFP?

There is no direct required cost to the student or the institution in order to participate in NUFP. The program does require the senior student affairs office (SSAO) of the institution to approve of the fellow and mentor participating in the program, in light of the time staff members spend mentoring Fellows. Many schools also provide some funds for Fellows to attend professional development programs, such as the annual NASPA conference. However, this is not a requirement to participate in NUFP.

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The NASPA Minority Undergraduate Fellows Program (MUFP) was initiated in 1989-90 under then NASPA President Doug Woodard. Concerned by the lack of persons of ethnic-minority in the student affairs profession, President Woodard sought to identify ways for members of those communities to become aware of and involved in the field and to continue in higher education. He asked Constance Rockingham, an at-large member of the NASPA Board of Directors, to develop a program that would identify and encourage undergraduate students of ethnic-minority to continue in higher education, and even more than that, encourage them to consider student affairs as a profession. Frederick Preston, a former at-large member of the NASPA Board, had given consideration to the same issues some years before. With the benefit of Preston's experience and Wooodard's encouragement, Constance Rockingham developed MUFP.

Nearly a decade after its founding, discussions began about including students with disabilities within the scope of MUFP. NASPA President Shannon Ellis, National MUFP Coordinator Saunie Taylor, and MUFP Advisory Board President Sarah Shumate worked together during the 2000-01 year to develop consensus for the broadening of the scope of MUFP's mission, and they along with Disability Concerns Network Coordinator Michael Shuttic set in motion the outreach effort.

At the December 2003 meeting of the NASPA Board of Directors, the proposed recommendation was reviewed, discussed and approved: "In recognition of changes in society, the Task Force for Undergraduate Mentoring Opportunities recommends designing and implementing a selective undergraduate fellows program to increase the numbers of underrepresented ethnic minorities, LGBT, and disabled professionals in the fields of student affairs and higher education. The mission of the program will be reviewed every five years with the first review to occur in July 2009."

The MUFP Advisory Board, representatives from six NASPA knowledge communities and others met in July 2005 in order to realign MUFP with NASPA's goals and vision, including the recent NASPA Board of Director decision to expand undergraduate mentoring opportunities to LGBT students. This planning group reviewed at all aspects of the current program, the new program considerations and redesigned the program to continue to support underrepresented students and address changing constituencies.

Advisory Board

The NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program is led by NASPA volunteers who generously devote their time to the program. The NUFP Board Chair provides vision and direction for the program, being nominated by NASPA staff. Regional Coordinators and Knowledge Community (KC) Representatives are selected from the leadership of the Region and KC, respectively. Additional roles on the NUFP Board are appointed by the NUFP Board Chair.

Questions about NUFP should be directed to

Application Information

Admissions Requirements

To be considered for admission to the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program, each applicant must meet the requirements listed below.

  • Identify as a member of a traditionally underrepresented or historically disenfranchised student population, including, but not limited to Black/African American, Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander/Desi American, Hispanic/Latinx/a/o, Indigenous (Native American, Alaskan, Hawaiian), Multiethnic, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, or as having a disability

  • Have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA at the time of application. Applicants with a 2.7 cumulative GPA will receive preference in the review process

  • Have a NASPA member serve as your mentor. Fellows and Mentors apply to NUFP together so a proposed mentor must be identified as part of the application. The proposed mentor does not need to be a NASPA member at time of application. However, Fellows will not be fully admitted to the program until the mentor becomes a NASPA member. All proposed mentors must be full-time professionals with at least two years of experience, post-master's.

  • Have at least two more semesters of undergraduate education left at time of application. For the 2019-2020 cycle, December 2019 graduates must apply by the summer deadline of June 28, 2019.

Step-by-Step Application Process

Applicants must submit demographic information and supplemental materials through the online demographic form. Supplemental materials MUST be scanned into ONE PDF document and uploaded into the online demographic form. This includes the letter of recommendation. Applicants should request their letter of recommendation in advance of the deadline so that it can be submitted with the rest of the supplemental materials.

Applications are reviewed by the NUFP Regional Coordinator in the applicant's institution’s region. A recommendation on the application is made to the NUFP Board Chair who then makes the final decision. Applicants should anticipate an application decision within four to six weeks after the application deadline.

  1. Locate your NASPA Customer ID. If you do not have a customer ID, please create one here, but do not purchase a membership.
  2. Submit the online demographic form. Please ensure that you are submitting the online form that aligns with your application round/ deadline.

    Demographic Form - Fall Round

Please make sure to download each of these forms and fill in all fields. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed:

  1. Fellow Application Questions
  2. Mentor Application Form
  3. Fellow-Mentor Agreement Form
  4. Full copy of current transcript (official or unofficial) or degree audit with cumulative GPA circled. Please do not send only the last page.
  5. One letter of recommendation from a staff or faculty member. The letter must come from someone who will not be your NUFP Mentor. This letter should address your potential as a future student affairs professional.

Applications for the 2019 - 2020 cohort are now open!



One of the best resources available to you is the wide range of professional development opportunities. This list contains both our “Hosted Events,” workshops and webinars that we plan and manage, and some “Related Events,” hosted by the NASPA Central Office or other NASPA Constituent Groups. To see a full listing of NASPA events, please see the Events page.



Please access resources below.

The NUFP Assessment Subcommittee also created the following video to go with the NUFP Mentor Rubric: “Oh the Places We Can Go,” to support the growth and development of our NUFP Fellows:

Summer Internships

The NUFP Summer Internship Program gives fellows an opportunity to gain insight into the fields of higher education and student affairs through a campus-based experience at a campus other than their own. Internships can last anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks, and it is required that host institutions offer a $1,500 minimum stipend, as well as help coordinate the intern's room and board. 

Institutions that host an intern create a mutually beneficial arrangement between the fellow and the institution, as well as gain the satisfaction of mentoring a fellow and providing hands-on experience in the fields of higher education and student affairs. Hosting a summer internship also demonstrates a commitment to increasing the number of under-represented administrators in higher education.

An internship allows a fellow to:

  • Expand the knowledge and understanding of the fields;
  • Increase the network professionals and administrators in the fields; and
  • Gain hands on experience.


Hosting a fellow as an intern allows a host institution to:

  • Gain the resources of a talented undergraduate student;
  • Invest in the personal and professional development of an undergraduate student looking to enter the field;
  • Expose an undergraduate student to a new campus experience and additional perspectives; and
  • Demonstrate a commitment to increasing the number of under-represented administrators in the field.


Dungy Leadership Institute

Would you like to meet other fellows from across the country? Does participating in a six-day leadership institute aimed at developing your leadership skills, enhancing your cultural competencies, and preparing you for a career in student affairs sound enticing? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you are encouraged to apply to be a part of the Dungy Leadership Institute (DLI). DLI is held annually on various university campuses and offers 32 select Fellows the unique opportunity to network with their peers and student affairs administrators serving as institute faculty representing the scope of NASPA's membership. The DLI not only provides an in-depth leadership development experience, but it also prepares Fellows for graduate work in student affairs/higher education. With the cost of food, travel, and logging covered, there is no reason for any Fellow to miss out on this life changing experience.

Please see the NUFP Events Page for more information about this year's DLI.

Interested in supporting the Dungy Leadership Institute? Here's how you can join the DLI family!
  • Host the 2020 DLI on your campus - applications are now open with a due date of December 21, 2018.
  • Lead DLI as our 2020 & 2021 Director - applications are now open with a due date of January 4, 2019.
  • Shape DLI as a faculty member for the institute - applications are now open with a due date of January 4, 2019.
  • Attend DLI as a Fellow -  applications for the 2019 Institutes are now open with a due date of March 17, 2019.

Want to be notified about any of these opportunities? Email and we'll send you a note when applications launch!

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending the Dungy Leadership Institute our Fellows will:

  • demonstrate an understanding how their personal identities and histories have impacted their lives and their ability to work with others
  • demonstrate that they are able to find ethical resolutions to critical issues in Student Affairs through case study analyses and other assessment activities
  • demonstrate through written and oral presentations that they have developed the requisite writing, research, and speaking skills for entry into graduate school
  • demonstrate that they have developed the professional networking skills through their interactions with mentors, faculty facilitators, and other Fellows
  • examine and develop the cultural cultural competency skills that are integral to the student affairs profession

Past DLI Experiences



2016 dli group photo



2015 group dli photo


group photo of students


2013 DLI photo


2012 DLI Group Photo


Photo Forthcoming


2010 DLI Group Photo


2009 DLI Group Photo


2008 DLI Group Photo


2007 DLI Group Photo


2006 NUFP DLI Group Photo


2005 NUFP DLI Group Photo



2003 NUFP DLI Group Photo


2002 NUFP DLI Group Photo


2002 NUFP DLI Group Photo

*This program was formerly known as the Summer Leadership Institute. In 2012, it was renamed the Dungy Leadership Institute after Executive Director Emeritus Gwendolyn Dungy retired.