Graduate School Diversity Office logo with values listed around it: Community based, socially just, audacious, creative, holistic

GSDO Mission

The Graduate School Diversity Office supports and enhances graduate education by serving in an advisory capacity, leading initiatives, and collaborating across the University of Minnesota system. Our work encompasses recruitment, funding, retention, advocacy, and education of students from underrepresented communities. The signature programs of the GSDO prioritize domestic graduate students who identify as Indigenous and/or People of Color, inclusive of their intersectional identities, as they have been historically excluded in graduate education.



GSDO Pillars

GSDO operations take place in our Three Pillars: Outreach & Recruitment, Retention & Success, and Faculty Consulting.



Collaborative efforts with U of M colleagues and nationally recognized partners to increase the  percentage of underrepresented incoming professional and graduate students.

UMN System Graduate Diversity Conference

Annual conference open to current U of M undergraduate students. 

Admissions & Applications Consultations 

Individual meetings with GSDO recruitment staff to help prospective students navigate the graduate school application process. 

Big 10 Academic Alliance Fee Waiver Program

Effort to decrease a financial barrier to graduate admission. Prospective students who have not yet earned a post-baccalaureate degree are encouraged to apply.

McNair Scholars Visitation Program

Annual event welcoming more than 300 prospective students to campus to learn more about graduate education at the University of Minnesota.  

Diversity Recruitment Toolkit 

Digital resource to provide faculty and staff with the information and resources they need to support and build a diverse graduate and professional student body.

Diversity Recruitment Ambassadors Program

Opportunity for prospective students to connect with current graduate students and learn more about life at the U of M. (see tab in the Diversity Recruitment Toolkit)

U of M Graduate & Professional Schools (GAPS) Recruitment Council

Online community of more than 75 members to discuss recruitment trends, share best practices, and coordinate recruitment efforts. (see tab in the Diversity Recruitment Toolkit)

National Name Exchange

Name-sharing database to expose talented, underrepresented undergraduate students to graduate programs across the nation. (see
Connecting with Prospective Students tab in the Diversity Recruitment Toolkit)

Recruitment Calendar 

Take a look at this year’s recruitment calendar to see which conferences the GSDO, as well as U of M graduate and professional programs will be attending this year.


Research-based graduate programs may nominate eligible prospective graduate students for the Diversity of Views and Experiences (DOVE) Fellowship.



Summer Institute

Seven-week summer bridge program for GSDO Scholars to get acclimated to UMN, practice graduate-level research, and build a diverse cohort community.

GSDO Scholars

Network and ongoing support for graduate students who have either been awarded GSDO Fellowships and/or  attended the Summer Institute.

Community of Scholars Program (COSP)

Network, programming, and resources for all domestic BIPOC graduate students in research-based programs at UMN and UMD.

SPARK e-zine

The SPARK e-zine is a digital publication that amplifies the research, experiences, and voices of BIPOC graduate students through public scholarship. 

First-Gen Connect

Network and resources for all first-generation college students in UMN graduate programs. 

Graduate Student Organizations

Short-list of UMN Graduate Student Organizations that focus on supporting students from diverse backgrounds.

Twin Cities Multicultural Directory

Resources and services within the Twin Cities sorted by category and communities served.

Graduate SEED Awards

Annual Graduate and Professional Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) Awards.




Faculty & Staff Resources

One page with the most commonly requested resources for faculty and staff.

Request Consultation

Graduate faculty are encouraged to connect with us to explore strategic and sustainable approaches to enhanced recruitment and retention efforts for BIPOC and underrepresented students. 

Faculty Fighting Racism

An online, curated set of books, articles, videos, and podcasts for graduate faculty intended to serve as a first step in understanding what it means to be anti-racist.

Diversity Working Groups Toolkit

Online resource for faculty, staff, students, and postdocs leading the charge to create more equitable and inclusive communities within graduate education.  Useful resources for existing or newly-formed  diversity committees, councils, or task-force groups. 

The Equity Collective 

Convening of diversity practitioners and professionals serving graduate education.  Members benefit from designated time to  build capacity, cultivate community and grow professionally.


Get to know the GSDO Staff >