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
Upcoming Events

2023 AIAA SciTech Forum & Exposition
23–27 January 2023
National Harbor, MD & Online
Applications accepted 10 August – 2 October 2022

Applications for ASCEND 2022 Diversity Scholars Program are now closed.

Due to the high volume of applications we receive, application deadlines are strictly enforced.

Questions? Contact us at

Apply Now

Application Process and Details

Please carefully review the program eligibility requirements below:

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

To be eligible to participate in the AIAA Diversity Scholars program, student applicants must satisfy the eligibility requirements below:

  • Must be studying at an accredited college or university within the 50 United States or one of its territories;
  • You must be an undergraduate, masters, or Ph.D. student;
  • If you have previously attended a forum as a Diversity Scholar or participant in the International Student Conference program, you are ineligible to apply;
  • For the ASCEND Event, if you are under the age of 21 at the time of the event, you must be accompanied by a companion 21 years of age or older for the purposes of hotel accommodations.
Application Process and Details

A completed application requires the following information from all applicants –

  • Basic information about you
  • Your university and degree information
  • Gender identity
  • Racial or ethnic identification
  • Age
  • A resume or CV
  • Three short-answer essay questions

Applications take an average of 30 minutes to complete.

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 2023, 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.


2021 ASCEND Diversity Scholars


2022 AIAA SciTech Diversity Scholars

AV22 Group Photo

2022 AIAA AVIATION Diversity Scholars

The Diversity Scholars Program is made possible by



Duha Bader 2022 Diversity Scholar

“The AIAA Diversity Scholars Program was truly a life-changing experience. I got to meet with multiple industry leaders and had the opportunity to listen to their journeys navigating the aerospace field as well as the projects they're working on. Their stories have inspired me to take a closer look at the projects I'm working on and realize the benefits it has on our aerospace community. The Diversity Scholars Program opens up the doors of networking and opportunity and the connections made are definitely ones that will last a lifetime. -Duha Bader, 2022 Diversity Scholar ”

–Duha Bader

Judy Park 2021 Diversity Scholar

“ASCEND 2021 is a tremendous technical and professional development opportunity I could never financially afford. Diversity Scholarship will provide me with an unprecedented platform to network with leaders in Aerospace and find career opportunities as an international student and a woman of color.”

–Judy Park

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


AIAA Executive Director Dan Dumbacher with 2022 AIAA SciTech Diversity Scholars