The AIAA Diversity Scholars Program seeks to provide opportunities for underrepresented university students who have an interest in or are pursuing a degree in aerospace to attend an AIAA forum or event.

AIAA forums and events draw professionals and students from around the world. Scholars will have the opportunity to expand their network, learn about opportunities available in the aerospace industry, and hear from engineers and scientists on the latest research and development findings helping to shape the future of aerospace. Special sessions will also be designed to enhance the scholars’ experience.

Students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, gender minorities, individuals with disabilities, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, first-generation students, and women have historically been underrepresented in STEM fields therefore, they will receive priority in funding. Applicants are not required to be AIAA student members to be accepted into the Diversity Scholars Program.

AIAA Diversity Scholars
AIAA Diversity Scholars
AIAA Diversity Scholars
Application Process and Details

Full-time students from U.S. institutions are invited to apply. Applicants will be required to provide demographic information and describe their interest in aerospace, leadership/perseverance, and how they would benefit from attending the forum or event. In 2021, there will be three opportunities to apply for the scholarship. You may apply to attend more than one event.

All applications close at 2359hrs ET on the deadline date. Due to the high volume of applications we received, application deadlines are strictly enforced.

Questions? Contact us at

Eligibility Requirements
  • Student applicants must be studying at an accredited college or university within the United States or one of its territories. International Students studying outside of the United States are not eligible to apply and your application will be rejected.
  • Undergraduate, Masters, and Ph.D. students are eligible to apply
  • Students who have previously attended an AIAA Forum as a Diversity Scholar are not eligible to attend again
  • For the ASCEND 2022 Forum, due to local regulations in Las Vegas, only students over the age of 21 may apply to attend
Program Details

Students selected for an AIAA Diversity Scholarship will receive the following, covered by the Diversity Scholarship Program:

  • Roundtrip coach airfare 
  • Conference registration (includes access to all networking events)
  • Hotel room for the duration of the conference in host hotel
  • A customized schedule 
  • Special small-group meetings with aerospace industry leaders
  • The opportunity to make new friends that will last a lifetime

In 2022, all programs are scheduled to be in-person. In the event government actions around COVID-19 cause the cancellation of an AIAA Forum, or AIAA determines that the health and safety situation warrant the cancellation of a forum, activities will be transitioned to a virtual format and students will have the opportunity to participate as Diversity Scholars.

Upcoming Events

AIAA SciTech Forum
3–6 January 2022
AIAA SciTech Forum & Exposition
San Diego, CA

AIAA SciTech Forum is the world’s largest event for aerospace research and development. The 2022 forum will explore the science, technologies, and policies that are shaping our industry’s future and enabling sustainability.

Applications will be accepted from 1 September to 7 October.

Apply Now


The Diversity Scholars Program is made possible by



Chelsea Atkins, 2018 and 2019 Diversity Scholar

“The connections I made through AIAA both personal and professional motivated me to focus more on my research and how it related to the greater aerospace community. The Diversity Scholars Program inspired me to pursue additional studies in Physics and gain a more in depth understanding of how technology applies to the natural world. Overall, AIAA showed me an alternative, more fulfilling path to my goals that would include collaboration, leadership, and lifelong friendships.”

–Chelsea Atkins

Reinaldo Figueroa 2019 Diversity Scholar

“Being selected as an AIAA Diversity Scholar was a life-changing experience. It was my first encounter with aerospace and meeting so many wonderful people in the same place. During the event, I was lucky to be interviewed by Aurora Flight Sciences for an internship position. A day before the event ended, I received a call from the recruiter telling me I got the position.”

–Reinaldo Figueroa

Sara Walmach 2018 Diversity Scholar

“The scholarship not only helped me with my professional networking skills, but also opened my eyes to how many different career paths there are in the space industry. In addition, it helped me realize just how needed diversity scholarships are in the industry, and how vital it is to promote and demand inclusion and representation in my workplace and future career endeavors.”

–Sara Walmach