UDream provides opportunities for promising graduates of architecture, urban design, and urban planning programs.

UDream is a zero-cost academic and workforce development program that admits an annual cohort of up to 15 candidates. By eliminating cost as a barrier, UDream seeks to recruit individuals from underrepresented or underresourced backgrounds. It provides a 22-week post-graduate experience; including a six-week academic intensive module, two 1-week community engagement modules, and 14-week paid internship with Pittsburgh, PA based organizations. 

Recognizing the barrier to participation in a five-month intensive, UDream is a fully funded program, and includes a monthly stipend. Mentorship and leadership development for candidates both entering the workforce and pursuing advanced degrees continues to be an emphasis of UDream, with the goal of retaining diverse talent in Pittsburgh through job placement, professional development, and expanded scholarship opportunities.

Following the six-week summer academic intensive on CMU’s campus, participants match with regional architecture and construction firms, community nonprofits, and civic development corporations to complete a paid internship over three months in the fall.

The fall internship period overlaps with the graduate school application cycle, and UDream participants receive support for their applications to programs including but not limited to the seven graduate programs at the School of Architecture and the potential to apply for the GEM Fellowship, an invaluable opportunity that allows participants to enroll in graduate school at zero cost, with full tuition and stipend, application fees and overhead costs assumed by CMU and supplemented through the GEM sponsors consortium. 

UDream participants are also instrumental in the local growth of the K-12 educational pipeline in the Pittsburgh region by engaging as community educators and serving K-12 minority students enrolled in summer youth architecture programs, inspiring their path towards a career in the built environment.

Additional support is provided for each UDream cohort including housing, travel and registration for architectural events, regional site visits and architectural tours, and team activities offered over the duration of the six-month program.

The UDream program first ran from 2009 to 2018 as an academic and job placement program through the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and resumed as an annual zero-cost program in summer 2023.

2024 Program Dates

Application Timeline

  • Applications Open: January 31, 2024

  • Virtual Open House for Prospective Fellows: April 2, 2024

Program Timeline

  • UDream Student Move-in: June 22, 2024

  • Youth Give-Back week: June 24, 2024

  • First day of classes: July 1, 2024

  • Last day of classes: August 9, 2024

  • Community Engagement Week: August 1-6, 2024

  • Final presentations: August 8-9

  • Internship Start Date: August 12, 2024

  • Internship End Date: November 15, 2024

Frequently Asked Questions

See common answers to frequently asked questions about the UDream program below, and if you have additional questions, please email udream@andrew.cmu.edu.

Is housing included in the program, and where would that be located?

Yes, UDream participants are placed in Carnegie Mellon University housing which will run through the end of the academic program. Starting at that point, participants will be given opportunities for housing in nearby residential neighborhoods, coordinated through the UDream program or on their own by request.

Are moving or travel expenses covered?

Yes, participants are eligible for an additional stipend to cover moving and/or travel on a case by case basis.

How are participants matched with an internship?

At the mid-point of the academic program, an interview and match day will be held with the local firms and non-profit organizations and UDream participants and employers are matched based on their preferences following that event.

The UDream Team

Assistant Professor, DEI Director & DDes Track Chair

UDream in the News

Statement of Assurance: Policy Statement

Carnegie Mellon University does not discriminate in admission, employment or administration of its programs or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, ancestry, belief, veteran status or genetic information. Furthermore, Carnegie Mellon University does not discriminate and is required not to discriminate in violation of federal, state or local laws or executive orders.

Inquiries concerning the application of and compliance with this statement should be directed to the university ombudsman, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, telephone 412-268-1018.

Obtain general information about Carnegie Mellon University by calling 412-268-2000.

The Carnegie Mellon University Statement of Assurance is available on the CMU website.