Undergraduate Education

Cancer Scholars Program

A researcher looks at a test tube.

From research opportunities and fellowships to workforce development and advocacy, we embolden our students to pursue scientific breakthroughs — and lead lives of impact. The Cancer Scholars Program provides unique and interdisciplinary student learning experiences and inspires education and deep scholarship through exposure to research and grand challenges early in undergraduate careers.

The Cancer Scholars Program is an undergraduate program created to provide a unique and interdisciplinary student learning experience. Whereas traditional undergraduate education has focused on classroom instruction independent of career aspirations or broader causes, this new model for undergraduate education is motivated by societal challenges and incorporates real-world experiences. Aligned with students’ passions, this approach is designed to inspire better learning, provide opportunities for undergraduate students to work in a meaningful manner in an important area for society, and ultimately impact society with smart and innovative Illinois graduates providing solutions against cancer.

Student Researcher Testing Samples

Program Goals

Encourage continued learning and the pursuit of education to make progress in the fight against cancer

Emphasize research early to encourage critical thinking and build skills and knowledge from the very outset

Provide clinical, patient-oriented, and entrepreneurial opportunities alongside comprehensive disciplinary training

Advance the detection and treatment of cancer through engineering solutions

Affiliated Departments


Computer Science

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Political Science

For More Information

Contact Dr. Marcia Pool, CCIL Assistant Director for Education by email at mpool@illinois.edu