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2.5.1 Commitment to Graduate Student Diversity: Policy

Last updated on:
Monday, October 14, 2019

Summary

Stanford University is committed to achieving a diverse graduate student population. Stanford's policy is to work diligently to recruit excellent applicants who would bring diversity (broadly defined) to the graduate student population, through broad encouragement and financial support of applications from a wide variety of populations and promotion of unbiased review.

Rationale and Policy 

Provost Persis Drell, in a May 2019 statement, articulated the critical importance of diversity for the university’s core research and educational missions. She writes:

At Stanford, we strive to ensure that a diversity of cultures, races and ethnicities, genders, political and religious beliefs, physical and learning differences, sexual orientations and identities is thriving on our campus. Such diversity will inspire new angles of inquiry, new modes of analysis, new discoveries and new solutions.

To advance education, it is essential to be exposed to views and cultures other than one's own and to have one's opinions and assumptions challenged. Such engagement expands our horizons, enables understanding across difference, prevents complacency and promotes intellectual breadth.

At the graduate level, a diversity of views and perspectives is more likely to generate better solutions to complex problems, breakthroughs in science and new heights of artistic expression. As a result, the Stanford community reaps the educational benefits of diversity, while preparing future generations of leaders for a global society that is increasingly diverse. At the same time, the university continues to evolve and become a more welcoming institution that promotes social justice and deeply held values of integrity and inclusiveness.

Addressing the lack of diversity in PhD programs nationwide is of special importance to the university. Stanford's vision is that the future professoriate will reflect the increasingly diverse population it teaches and thus will provide role models who can teach and inspire by their own achievements.

The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education works collaboratively within the university to broaden the participation and promote the academic success of graduate students from a variety of backgrounds, including those underrepresented within research universities. 

For decades, equal opportunity and affirmative action in the recruitment and selection of students have been integral components of Stanford University’s policies to achieve greater diversity. The success of our efforts depends on the enthusiastic commitment and daily activities of individual faculty, staff members, and students. We work diligently to recruit excellent applicants who would bring diversity to the graduate student population, through broad encouragement and financial support of applications from a wide variety of populations and promotion of unbiased review. This occurs alongside our steadfast commitment to creating an inclusive environment for all--especially for students whose social and educational backgrounds may differ from those of the majority of our students.

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All students, schools, departments and programs.