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 about 175 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.

As of December 2015, we are also offering a fellowship for applicants interested in the non-financial benefits of the scholarship. For more information on the difference between fellowships and scholarships, click here. Apply for either the scholarship or fellowship, not both.

Application windows are in the summer (June-July) and winter (December-January).

The winter 2018 application window closed in January, and recipients were notified March 13.

The next application window will begin in June 2018.

Join the mailing list below or follow the @UCBClassesNYC twitter to get updates about the scholarship/fellowship.
Note: You do not need to apply for or receive a scholarship or fellowship to participate in other elements of the Diversity Program, such as the jams and meet-ups.

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. Join the mailing list to receive updates about each month's improv jam(s).

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.
Since 2013, we have also run a Teen Improv Fest in conjunction with the NYC Department of Education, where we send teachers to 20 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 $1,000,000 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:
  • Arrow
  • Broad City
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • The Daily Show
  • Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
  • Ghosted
  • Girl Code
  • I Love You, America
  • Inside Amy Schumer
  • Key & Peele
  • Late Night with Seth Meyers
  • The Mayor
  • New Girl
  • Party Over Here
  • Saturday Night Live
  • The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon
  • 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.