Delaware Innovation Fellows

Yes, you can change the world!

The Delaware Innovation Fellows Program offers unique learning and enrichment opportunities to select students from ANY major who demonstrate passion, creativity, leadership and an entrepreneurial mindset.

Have a meaningful college experience, develop lasting relationships and cultivate skillsets needed to lead an impactful life.

  • Build your professional network
  • Find your place in a community of innovators
  • Identify your passions through personal exploration
  • Put your ideas to action through an innovative capstone project of your choosing
  • Change the world!

How to Apply


The fall 2023 application for Delaware Innovation Fellows is currently closed. Incoming freshmen admitted to UD's Newark campus will be able to apply for fall 2024 beginning in December 2023.



“Overall, DIF has provided me with the freedom to learn, explore and stretch myself without fear of failing so that I am able to attempt to affect society for the better.”



Gabby daPonte, Nursing Major

Who We Are

An Individualized Experience

The Delaware Innovation Fellows program is designed to meet the needs of students as they learn and grow throughout their college experience. With its unique phase-based approach, students will progress through the program at an individualized pace.

Phase I – Community Building & Immersion

Build close connections with your peer fellows. Gain knowledge and skills to put your ideas to action.

  • Live in the World Changers Living Learning Community
  • Enroll in ENTR160 & ENTR161: Professional Development for Innovators

Phase II – Exploration

Discover your passions. Learn what innovation means to you!

  • Attend community building events
  • Complete self-guided exploration to identify your passions

Phase III – Innovation in Action

Get first-hand experience with creative problem-solving and value creation from new ideas.

  • Put your ideas to action by complete an innovative project of your choosing
  • Showcase how you changed the world


Engage with a Like-Minded and Diverse Community

"I feel like I used to be a lot shyer before coming to the University of Delaware and joining DIF. Being a part of this program has helped me break out of my shell and be more personable."

- Giana Horigan, Exercise Science Major

"Before I lacked the creativity and mindset needed to be anything other than average. Through DIF, I have pushed the boundaries of my capabilities and have become the best version of myself."

- James Massaquoi, Economics Major

"The impact of being part of DIF is that I am more prepared for the real world and feel I can utilize my connections I have made with this program and have the tools to succeed."

- Nicole Seiden, Communications Major

Cultivate Lasting Connections and Networks

Joe Westcott, Capital One

Kris Vaddi, Incyte Corporation


Frequently Asked Questions


Who is eligible to apply?

Delaware Innovation Fellows is open to first-year students admitted to Newark campus. 

How do I apply for Delaware Innovation Fellows?

Admitted students can access the essay prompts to apply through their My Blue Hen Home student portal. Students may apply to multiple programs, but will only be admitted to one program.

What is the application deadline?

Essay prompts must be submitted by March 25.

When will I receive a decision about my application to Delaware Innovation Fellows? 

Applicants will be notified by email in April.


The time commitment of the program varies from phase to phase. Phase I is designed to be intensive and provide ample opportunity to learn and engage with the program; as you progress through the program, your experience becomes more personalized and you can tailor your participation to your own scheduling needs.

There are no programmatic costs associated with participating in DIF. In fact, mini-grants of $250-$1,000 are available for DIF students through an exclusive Innovation Fund so they can pursue their passions and interests throughout their four years.

Delaware Innovation Fellows are expected to enroll in specialized coursework that has been designed to maximize the learning impact resulting from participation in the program’s unique activities and experiences. Students are required to enroll in two one-credit courses during their first year in the program, and then complete an entrepreneurship major, minor, or certificate by the end of their four years at the University. Most students will earn 11-13 credits, many of which can fulfill breadth requirements or free electives. Students are required to pay for tuition for any courses taken towards the completion of DIF program requirements.

Freshmen fellows will live together in the World Changers Living Learning Community (LLC). This gives first-year students the opportunity to be immersed in a creative and innovative environment and develop a strong community with other Delaware Innovation Fellows.

In DIF, we believe that you can be innovative in any field. All DIF students will implement an innovative project at the end of their time in the program. Some students may start a business, design a product, develop a policy, create a program, or implement another type of new and innovative idea.

Starting in Spring 2020, all Delaware Innovation Fellows who successfully complete the programmatic and academic requirements of the program will receive a transcript credential identifying them as a Delaware Innovation Fellow.

*Pending final approval from University of Delaware Faculty Senate

Learn More

Horn Entrepreneurship

132 E. Delaware Avenue, Suite 100 Newark, DE 19711

For more information email

For admissions questions email or call 302-831-8123.