MERGE Program

MERGE 2023

Virtual event: Friday, September 22 at 2:00 pm - 5:30 pm CST

  • Live virtual visit for all participants 

On-campus visit event: October 26-27

  • A select group of MERGE participants will be invited to attend an on-campus follow-up visit, sponsored by The Grainger College of Engineering.

All MERGE participants are eligible for an application fee waiver when applying to a Grainger Engineering graduate program.

MERGE participants who enroll in a Grainger Engineering graduate program will be eligible for $700 of professional development funds unless they participated in the sponsored MERGE campus visit in 2023.

Apply by August 15 for full consideration.
Not ready for MERGE this year?
If you want to connect with a program of interest, contact us.

Want to hear about upcoming MERGE events?

Contact us to be notified of future events, or to ask questions about the program.

Contact Us

Application Information

Eligibility Criteria

To apply to the MERGE program you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Currently enrolled or recently completed an accredited curriculum in engineering, computer science, or physics

Preference will be given to individuals who will be graduating in the coming year, with a GPA of 3.2 or higher (on a 4.0 point scale), and individuals whose cultural background will increase the diversity of the graduate student body - for example, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latina/Latino/Latinx, Native American or Alaska Native, Other Pacific Islander, women, or persons with disabilities.

Application Requirements

To receive full consideration, we advise that all application materials should be submitted as soon as possible. The following items must be provided within your application:

  • An unofficial transcript
  • A statement of no more than two pages addressing your plans for graduate study, including research interests, career goals, relevant coursework completed, and other educational experiences
  • A detailed resume that outlines research experiences, internships, publications, and leadership experiences

Institute for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access

Grainger Engineering's IDEA supports scholarship, innovation, collaboration, and leadership in the areas of inclusion, diversity, equity, and access at all levels. Learn more...

GEM Fellowships

The GEM National Consortium Fellowships provide financial support and summer internship opportunities for MS and Ph.D. level students. Learn more...

ASEE Bronze Award Winner

Since 2019


Unique "Micro-Urban" Community

Urbana-Champaign is on an accelerated development track, emerging as a leading example of a "micro-urban" community—a population center of less than 250,000 with a set of highly desirable attributes commonly found in larger cities. Our vibrant arts/culture/nightlife scene, internationally diverse population, strong technology base, and commitment to societal issues coupled with a world-class university make this an ideal place to live, study, and work.

Students working together

True Interdisciplinary Spirit

We're home to numerous research centers, multidisciplinary research efforts, and many advanced laboratories. Interdisciplinary discovery is a topic of conversation at every university today. At Illinois, it isn't just talk. It's a way of life. Here it's possible to redefine success, and invent new ways of working with colleagues from across campus in almost any field, for almost any reason.

Graduate Program Rankings

The graduate engineering program at The Grainger College of Engineering is ranked #11 overall in the U.S. News & World Report (published April 2023). The following list includes our ranked graduate engineering degree programs and specialties. Note: U.S. News & World Report does not include Computer Science graduate degree programs in their rankings.

Explore Graduate Programs

  • Ranked Degree Programs
  • #7Aerospace Engineering
  • #4Agricultural Engineering
  • #19Biomedical Engineering
  • #12Chemical Engineering
  • #2Civil Engineering
  • #5 Computer Engineering
  • #4 Electrical Engineering
  • #4 Environmental Engineering
  • #15 Industrial Engineering
  • #2  Materials Science and Engineering
  • #5    Mechanical Engineering / Theoretical and Applied Mechanics
  • #8Nuclear Engineering
  • #9 Physics
  • Ranked specialties
  • #5 Computer Science - Artificial Intelligence
  • #3 Computer Science - Programming Language
  • #4 Computer Science - Systems
  • #5 Computer Science - Theory
  • #13 Physics - Atomic / Molecular / Optical
  • #5 Physics - Condensed Matter
  • #5 Physics - Living Systems
  • #6 Physics - Nuclear
  • #12 Physics - Quantum