Much Needed Diversity Efforts at the MIT Physics Department

There are more than 90 faculty members in the physics department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Not one is black.

About 16 percent of all undergraduate physics majors at MIT are members of underrepresented minorities. But minorities make up only 3 percent of all graduate students.

The physics department is reaching out in an effort to increase racial diversity. This past February the department sent representatives to the conference of the National Society of Black Physicists in an effort to recruit more black graduate students and faculty. The department has allocated funds to invite black physicists to lecture on campus so they can build relationships with current MIT physics faculty. A program is being considered that will bring black students who have graduated from college with a degree in physics to MIT for a year of post-baccalaureate study and research before they apply to graduate school.