Social Justice Scholars Program

The SP2 Social Justice Scholars Program, founded in 2021, is geared towards funding and fostering an eminent education for graduate students, preferably those graduating from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs). The Program awards full-tuition scholarships and creates uniquely-focused, rigorous academic programing for incoming students who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), preferably those graduating from HBCUs and MSIs.

Constructing a deep, distinctive, and impactful learning environment for cohorts of students of color—while removing the financial burden of a graduate education at Penn—the Social Justice Scholars Program simultaneously empowers and enhances the entire student experience and underscores SP2’s keen eye on racial justice and abolitionist ambitions. Long after their time at SP2, graduates of the program profoundly enrich the diverse SP2 alumni community, as well as the national and international communities that SP2 constituents serve.


To be eligible for the program, applicants will be/have:

Received an offer of admission to an SP2 master’s degree program

Self-identified as BIPOC

An HBCU/MSI graduate (preferred)

Requested to be considered for financial aid through the application

Demonstrated merit and financial need


The Social Justice Scholars Program will offer full-tuition scholarships to three students who enter a master’s-degree program in Fall 2021.

Academic Programming

The Social Justice Scholars Program academic programming that includes funding to a national conference, two pro-seminars, and more. Students will also be matched with an alumni mentor and a faculty advisor.

Fee Waiver

All applicants who attended HBCUs and MSIs are eligible to receive an application fee waiver. In order to obtain this waiver, email with your name and state your undergraduate institution.

Application Process

Applicants should submit an application to the Master of Social Work (MSW), Master of Science in Social Policy (MSSP), or Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership (NPL) program by February 1st. All applicants who meet eligibility requirements and admissions criteria will be reviewed by the Social Justice Scholars Program selection committee; no separate application is required. Scholarship recipients will be notified by March 15th and must accept or reject their offer of admission by April 1st.


Office of Financial Aid

For general admissions inquiries or questions involving the online application system, please email Admissions at

Giving Opportunities

Donors who are interested in supporting the Social Justice Scholars Program can learn more here.

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