The PhD Applicant Support Program is a pre-application program that aims to support applicants applying to the Computer Science PhD program at UMass Amherst. This is a student-led program developed as part of the CICS Committee Against Racism and for Equity (CARE).

This program assists applicants in two ways: (1) it provides 1-on-1 mentorship and feedback on PhD application materials to underrepresented applicants, and (2) it provides general application guidance via a live panel webinar to all applicants.

Important Dates

1-1 Support for Underrepresented Applicants

All applicants who identify as an underrepresented or marginalized minority and are applying to the PhD or MS-PhD program at CICS UMass Amherst are eligible for 1-on-1 support. A current PhD student will provide one round of feedback on the application materials and/or a 1-on-1 call to answer any questions. We will accommodate eligible applicants on a first-come-first-serve basis until full capacity.

Fill out this form if you are an applicant interested in making use of this service:

Please note that participation in the PhD Applicant Support Program and the feedback provided are completely separate from the admissions process and decisions. All feedback comes from current PhD students. The volunteers are not allowed to disclose your name and information or help you to connect to any other person at UMass Amherst. The volunteers have been trained to assist you in the application process and will give their best guidance and advice. Participation in the program is not disclosed to the admissions committee, faculty, or any official UMass Amherst entity.

Information from the interest form will be aggregated and anonymized to evaluate the impact of this program, but individual responses will be deleted at the end of this application cycle. By uploading application materials, applicants authorize the program's organizers and reviewers to process and review it.


All applicants applying to the PhD or MS-PhD program are invited to attend a live panel webinar for general application guidance. The webinar will be led by current graduate students and will provide an opportunity for all applicants to ask questions about the program and application process.

The second webinar will be held on Friday, November 19 at 11:00am EST.

The first webinar was held on Thursday, October 28 at 11:00am EST. The recording can be found here:


We hope this program will help the College of Information and Computer Sciences step toward more equitable representation in its student population and in turn improve the diversity of perspectives we offer to each other and the quality of work we bring to the broader community.

For questions, please email