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Diversity and Inclusion

Brown's Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan aims to develop a diverse graduate student body by: 

  • Expanding graduate fellowships to departments to diversify the pipeline
  • Investing in enhanced graduate education through programs
  • Developing research opportunities for aspiring Ph.D. students
  • Expanding residential summer programs for aspiring PhD students
  • Hiring staff who are dedicated to recruiting diverse graduate students (Step completed)

One of the goals is to double the number of graduate students from historically underrepresented groups. See DIAP details.

The University is engaged in the work of creating a more diverse and inclusive academic community, as evidenced by Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion: An Action Plan for Brown University. The document formalizes and expands upon diversity and inclusion efforts articulated in Brown’s Building on Distinctionstrategic plan. The Graduate School is represented on the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) Implementation Working Group. 

The Graduate School is committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive academic community and educating and training a distinguished and diverse cohort of master’s and doctoral students. Exposure to a broad range of perspectives, views, and outlooks is key to fostering both breadth and depth in intellectual knowledge.  

At Brown, the term “diversity” is used in the broadest sense to encompass many things such as race, color, religion, age, national and ethnicity origin, caste, disability, status as a veteran, language, socio-economic background, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political ideology, theoretical approach, and the list can go on. It is through the interaction among individuals from a diverse set of experiences, histories, and backgrounds that true intellectual diversity is achieved.

The University's Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion provides leadership for the formulation and oversight of University policies related to pluralism and equity, and initiates programs and practices that promote diversity, inclusion, and fair treatment of all members of the community. The University designates officers who are responsible for issues of compliance and who are available to answer questions and provide advice.

Read Brown's statement on Equal Opportunity, Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action. Students who think that they have a grievance should consult the Discrimination/Harassment and Grievance Policies.

Recruiting and Admission

The Graduate School actively recruits students who are and have been traditionally underrepresented in graduate education, including but not limited to underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, women, and people with disabilities. The associate dean for diversity initiatives works in partnership with individual departments and programs at Brown and cultivates relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).  

Diversity Fellowships were created in early 2017, as part of the University and Graduate School Diversity and Inclusion Action Plans (DIAPs), for admission beginning in 2017-18. These fellowships are intended to diversify doctoral programs, with priority given to students from historically underrepresented groups. Diversity Fellowships are for top admitted doctoral candidates from across the disciplines, who receive enhanced stipends for three years and a one-time $1,000 research account. 

The Graduate School works closely with the Leadership Alliance to identify potential graduate program applicants among the pool of undergraduate students who are conducting research at Brown for eight weeks during the summer. Similarly, the Graduate School works in close partnership with students from Tougaloo College who spend time at Brown throughout the year while participating in various aspects of Brown-Tougaloo Partnership programming. The Graduate School also recruits at various annual meetings and conferences around the country. 

Every spring, the Graduate School invites newly admitted underrepresented minority students to attend a one-day campus visit called “Super Monday.” Throughout the day, students are exposed to various aspects of graduate student life at Brown through interaction with faculty, staff and students from their prospective departments, deans of the Graduate School, and representatives from various centers and offices on campus. The day ends with a reception and dinner, which is attended by matriculating graduate students, faculty, and staff of color from across the campus. The Graduate School covers the costs associated with prospective students’ transportation to and from Providence and overnight accommodations for this event. 

Retention and Advancement

The Graduate School sponsors Multicultural Graduate Student (MGS) events for underrepresented minority students, including dinners with invited guest speakers, academic achievement and cultural celebrations, and social-networking activities. The Graduate School provides assistance to a variety of student associations and clubs that represent Brown’s diverse graduate student population. In addition, the University offers individual and group support to students who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ). 

Program Review

Diversity is one of several criteria used by the Graduate School to assess the performance of graduate programs.