The University of Virginia Aims to Increase the Racial Diversity of Its Graduate Students

The University of Virginia usually stands near the very top in JBHE’s annual ranking of the nation’s 30 highest-rated universities in terms of percentage of black students in their entering classes.

Now the University of Virginia is taking steps to increase racial diversity in its graduate programs. The Inter-Ethnic Interdisciplinary Mentoring Institute for Graduate Education has a goal of making the campus welcoming to minority graduate students.

Mentors, who are more senior graduate students, meet with new students each week to talk about courses, short- and long-term goals, and adjustment to campus life. These mentors have faculty members as coaches who help them with the new students.

In addition to the mentoring program, the graduate student diversity office conducts a retreat at the beginning of each semester to help new students make the transition to graduate study. A visitation weekend is held each spring for minority students who have been accepted into graduate programs at the university but have not yet decided to enroll.