NY Diversity Program

The UCB Training Center believes a diverse student body is fundamental to developing rich comedic scenes in improvisation, sketch, and character work.
Through outreach, scholarships, and community events, the UCB Training Center aims to develop a student body that reflects the society in which it exists.
As the curriculum promotes being truthful and drawing from real life when possible, classes are more rewarding when students bring a variety of experiences to the work they do in class and on the stage.
We are looking to increase our diversity of
  • race and ethnicity
  • sexual orientation and gender identification
  • people over 40
  • individuals with disabilities
  • U.S. military service members or veterans
In addition to efforts at the UCB Training Center, we support a broad range of community organizations that foster inclusion, encourage diversity and are committed to advancing comedic opportunities for under-served communities.


Twice a year, we offer 150 new and returning students scholarship credits to study for free at the Training Center. We are looking for students with diverse backgrounds in the NYC metropolitan area whose financial situation would make studying at the UCB Training Center difficult or impossible otherwise.
The application window is open in June/July and December/January.
The next online application will be available starting December 8 at 11:59pm and will be open through January 5, 2016.
Join the mailing list below or follow the @UCBClassesNYC twitter to get updates about the scholarship.
Note: You do not need to apply for or receive a scholarship to participate in other elements of the Diversity Program.

We host a variety of events to discuss issues of diversity in comedy. Join the mailing list for updates on meeting times and dates.
We host a monthly free improv jam at the UCB Theatre for performers of all experience levels, hosted by Astronomy Club. Join the mailing list to receive updates about each month's improv jam.

Our email newsletter is a great way to find out about different aspects of the program and upcoming events.  We proactively share our job openings and employment opportunities with this list first. 
To join the mailing list, click here.
We only send out emails once or twice a month, so we won't be clogging up your inbox.

For the past three years, we have teamed up with the All Stars Project to offer free improv workshops and Improv 101 classes to youth from across New York City.
Throughout the year, we offer teen improv classes for 15-18 year-olds, which are free to students who receive free or discounted lunches at NYC schools. To see if any teen classes are coming up, visit our open courses page.
We also run a Teen Improv Fest in conjunction with the NYC Department of Education, where we send teachers to 10 schools to help coach improv teams there and prepare them for an end-of-year show hosted at the UCB Theatre.

Our director of student affairs, Marissa Tunis, a licensed psychologist, is available for counseling and feedback regarding a variety of issues. She has held teacher training sessions and scheduled student forums regarding diversity in response to feedback from students, so please reach out to her if you are a student who would like to discuss your experiences about diversity. She can be reached at [email protected]

Since its inception in 2009, the Upright Citizens Brigade Training Center has awarded over $700,000 in scholarships via our program. 
Though a partnership with the NYC Department of Education, we have worked with 14 High Schools throughout the five boroughs.

Past scholarship recipients include writers and performers on staff at:
  • Broad City
  • The Daily Show
  • Girl Code
  • Inside Amy Schumer
  • Key & Peele
  • Late Night with Seth Meyers
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Why? with Hannibal Buress
Dozens of student scholarship recipients have gone on the join the UCB Theatre as house team performers, writers or staff members.

We look forward to increasing our partnerships, opportunities and programs annually in line with the growth and experience of the organization.