Delaware Innovation Fellows

Yes, you can change the world!

Delaware Innovation Fellows offers unique learning and enrichment opportunities to select students from any major interested in leadership and problem-solving.

Have a meaningful college experience, develop lasting relationships and cultivate the skills needed to make an impact. In this program, you will:

  • 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
  • Work to change the world!

How to Apply


The fall 2024 application is now open. Incoming freshmen admitted to UD's Newark campus can apply by completing the program’s required essay on their student portal, My Blue Hen Home. Students may apply to multiple programs, but will only be admitted to one.


The priority deadline for Scholars & Fellows applications is March 15.


“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 support students on an individual level as they learn and grow throughout their college experience. With this commitment, we offer a unique approach that allows students to progress at their own pace.

Phase I – Community Building & Immersion

Build close connections with your peer fellows. Gain knowledge and skills to put your ideas into 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 leadership and innovation means to you!

  • Attend community-building events to connect with your fellow program participants
  • Complete self-guided exploration to identify and engage with the leadership problems and solutions that excite you

Phase III – Innovation in Action

Get first-hand experience with creative problem-solving and developing your own projects..

  • Put your ideas to action by creating and completing an innovative project of your choosing
  • Showcase how your project can make a global impact


Engage with a 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, kinesiology 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


Delaware Innovation Fellows is open to incoming freshmen admitted to Newark campus.  

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

The priority deadline for Scholars & Fellows applications is March 15, but students who apply after the priority deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.

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 our Innovation Fund so students can pursue their passions and interests throughout their four years.

Delaware Innovation Fellows are expected to enroll in specialized coursework centered around the program’s focus on innovation and leadership. Students are required to enroll in two one-credit courses during their first year and then complete an entrepreneurship major, minor or certificate by the end of their four years at UD. Most students will earn 11 – 13 credits, many of which can fulfill breadth requirements or electives.

Freshmen fellows will live together in the World Changers Living-Learning Community, a creative environment that allows them to develop a strong community with other Delaware Innovation Fellows.

In DIF, we believe that you can be innovative in any field. For their final project, students have started a business, designed a product, developed a policy, created a program, or implemented another type of new and innovative idea.

All Delaware Innovation Fellows who successfully complete the program and its academic requirements will receive a transcript credential identifying them as a Delaware Innovation Fellow.

Learn More

Horn Entrepreneurship

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

For more information, email