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Graduate School Attracts Larger PhD Cohort

April 28, 2017

Brown Graduate School will welcome 322 new doctoral students in the next academic year, with 42% coming from outside the U.S. The Graduate School accepted 11% of applicants to Brown's 51 doctoral programs, and the matriculating cohort is 5% larger than in the prior year. The new international PhD students come from 36 nations, with the largest number from China and India. Among the new domestic students, 23% self-identify as members of historically underrepresented groups (HUG). The number of HUG students doubled compared to a year earlier.  

“The increased number of historically underrepresented students is a good signal as we pursue the deeply important work of broadening participation in higher education,” says Andrew G. Campbell, dean of the Graduate School. “At Brown, we are working to foster a more diverse and inclusive scholarly community through intentional investment of time and resources.”

Brown University has made significant investments in graduate education and doctoral-student support, including recent initiatives to diversify the graduate student body under Brown’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. For the first time, the Graduate School offered Diversity Fellowships to top admitted doctoral students, with priority given to students from historically underrepresented groups. Similar to Brown’s Presidential and Chancellor’s Fellowships, Diversity Fellowships include enhanced stipends and a one-time research account. Separately, Brown received a grant to extend the Initiative to Maximize Student Development, which has increased the diversity of students in life sciences, to its physical sciences, engineering and mathematics departments.

Other recent investments include the introduction of no-cost dental insurance for doctoral students (2015-16), parental relief in July 2016, new services for international students through the recently created Office of Global Engagement (2016-17), and increased summer support for those in the humanities and social sciences (2017-18).

Overall, applications to doctoral programs increased 2.3% compared with the prior year. The number of applicants from historically underrepresented groups rose 33%, while international applications grew by 4.7%. The doctoral admission season is closed, but some some of Brown's 31 master's programs continue to admit applicants. The data cited in this report are as of April 23, 2017.