Graduate-Undergraduate Mentorship Program (GUMP)


GUMP (Graduate-Undergraduate Mentorship Program) is designed to help undergraduate students decide if graduate school is the right choice for them. Mentors will provide undergraduates with a realistic viewpoint about the application process, expectations, and what it is really like to be in graduate school. This program is for anyone considering graduate school (master’s and doctoral programs) in any field, providing there is a mentor in that area. Examples of activities and interactions that mentors often share with their mentees are: lab tours; research activities in a field or studio setting; attendance at graduate level classes; attendance at seminars; attendance at social events on campus or in the community; networking with other graduate students and faculty; talking over coffee or a meal to answer questions; etc.

See information below for mentor/mentee eligibility, and for GUMP applications.
Please note that graduate and undergraduate applicants who are successfully matched will be notified of their acceptance status by mid-January.


GUMP mentors are VT graduate students enrolled in either a master’s or doctoral program. All mentors must have completed at least one year of graduate studies and be in good academic standing in their programs of study. Students who plan to study abroad or graduate before program completion (in April) should not apply to the program.

Apply here to become a graduate mentor.


GUMP mentees are VT undergraduate students who are interested in life as a graduate student. They may be seriously considering graduate school or they may just be curious about it. Acceptance will be based on level.

Apply here to become an undergraduate mentee.


GUMP is designed to be a minimal time commitment, as follows:

  • Late January: 1-hour Orientation Meeting;
  • February–March: Meet 2-4 times for a designated time period (approximately 1 hour, but it is up to the mentees/mentors to facilitate a workable schedule);
  • Late April: Attend an Exit Social and complete a 10-minute online survey to provide feedback to the GUMP organizers.

GUMP would like for graduate mentors to journal briefly after each meeting with mentees. This may be done in any format of your choice (online blog/vlog, handwritten journal, Word document, etc.). A single sentence or paragraph after each meeting is sufficient, but more is better. We understand, however, that graduate students are already making a considerable sacrifice of time to participate in GUMP, so journaling is not mandatory for participation. If you do journal, please send your journal to once all your meetings with mentees have finished.