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Diversity Recruitment Toolkit

Recruiting Underrepresented
Graduate & Professional Students

The Diversity Recruitment Toolkit is designed 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 Resources for Faculty & Staff

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on graduate school recruitment. Most national conferences have either been canceled or moved to a virtual format. To help with your recruitment plans, the following are some best practices and useful resources to assist with your program’s proactive recruitment efforts during COVID-19. If you have any questions or wish to add to these resources, please contact Derek Maness (dmaness@umn.edu).  

Best Recruitment Practices During Covid-19

  • Utilize Zoom to advise prospective graduate students 
  • Create short videos that highlight your program and feature current graduate students
  • Schedule virtual information sessions to highlight your program
  • Attend or represent your program at virtual national conferences
  • Organize a virtual graduate fair (e.g. CareerEco)
  • Use student roster databases via Slate Deliver (e.g. National Name Exchange, McNair, etc.) and utilize the student roster database from the Graduate School’s on-line request for information form list via Slate Deliver).  Please see the “Connecting with Prospective Students” tab for more information on Slate Deliver.
  • Focus also on the recruitment of our own University of Minnesota system-wide undergraduates

Highlight to Prospective Students What Makes Us Attractive/Unique 

(additional flyers and videos will be added)

Resources and Services

Help us promote diversity and inclusion across the University of Minnesota by creating a Diversity Matters webpage on your program's website. Current graduate students have said that these sites would help inform prospective and current students of your commitment to diversity and provide links to valuable resources and initiatives that focus on diversity and inclusion.

To make an impact with your Diversity Matters page, we recommend providing a brief statement about your program's mission and commitment to diversity, links to the Community of Scholars Program, Office for Equity and Diversity, Graduate School Diversity Office (GSDO), Multicultural Resources and Services, useful graduate student organizations, and specific diversity fellowship opportunities such as the Diversity of Views and Experiences (DOVE) Fellowships.

Don’t forget to include photos, a link to your Facebook page, student experiences, and information about special events related to your program.

Examples of Diversity Resources at the U of M

The gradSERU is a comprehensive survey that measures a variety of graduate student experiences, including students' perceptions of campus climate, reasons for selecting their degree program, mental health and wellbeing, and financial support. You can view the results by college, program, or students' demographics. For example, note the differences in responses to the question below based on race/ethnicity/citizenship status. What are some data points for your program that would be helpful for recruiting students of color or first-generation students? 

Access 2019 gradSERU Results

The Graduate School website provides the last ten years of Admission Statistics (application for admissions, admissions yield, admit pool characteristics, matriculation yield, and matriculation pool characteristics) and Retention Statistics broken down by masters, doctoral, male, female, international, and minority students.

View your program's statistics

Graduate Education Data Portals (x500 sign-in required)

The Puerto Rico, McNair Scholar, Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and Black Graduate and Professional Student Association (BGAPSA) Ambassador Programs enable prospective students to connect with current graduate students who agreed to share information about their campus experiences. These programs help students to build communities that enrich their campus experiences.

Please contact Derek Maness for more information about these programs, promotion materials, and guidance on how to recruit new students.

Student Databases and National Programs

The University of Minnesota Graduate School is committed to recruiting exemplary students from underrepresented backgrounds. The databases below will help you connect with prospective students, introduce them to your program, and answer any questions they may have. Our research shows that faculty should not underestimate their role in the recruitment process as faculty contact is one of the highest-rated factors that underrepresented students cite when explaining why they selected a graduate program.

Using Slate Deliver to Connect

To help with your proactive recruitment, use Slate Deliver to create and schedule automatic messages or email campaigns to communicate with prospective and current applicants.  One feature of the system is our online Request for Information Form that enhances the visibility of your graduate program by actively welcoming prospective students, linking them to your graduate program, and sending general follow up emails with application information. Graduate programs are able to record communications between prospects and develop automated email campaigns (including measure recipient click rates). Perhaps most importantly, Slate Deliver allows you to measure and report which of the prospects actually became applicants, and hopefully admits. Contact Paula Baker in Graduate Admissions to get started. (Deliver: Best Practices & Tips Flyer) 

National Name Exchange

The National Name Exchange (NNE) is a consortium of fifty-five, nationally-known universities that annually collect and exchange the names of their talented-but-underrepresented students who are in their sophomore, junior, or senior year of undergraduate education. NNE students self-identified by completing the NNE online request form to receive program information. The purpose of the NNE is to ensure that participating universities continue to identify qualified students who could be recruited to graduate programs at participating institutions. NNE universities conduct other activities consistent with the national efforts to increase the enrollment of traditionally underrepresented peoples in graduate education.

The total number of prospective undergraduate students this Fall has risen to 8435; 140 of which are University of Minnesota undergraduates. Many are seniors looking to start their graduate studies in Fall 2019.

Please contact Derek Maness if your program would like access to the NNE.

McNair Scholar Program National Directory

The McNair Scholar National Directory compiles information about graduating seniors, including their addresses, majors, and areas of interest for graduate study. You can view the online McNair Scholar Database here.

For more information about McNair Scholars, please refer to the McNair Scholars Brochure: "Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Student Recruitment".

GEM Fellowship Directory

The mission of The National GEM Consortium is to enhance the value of the nation's human capital by increasing the participation of underrepresented groups (African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanic Americans) at the master's and doctoral levels in engineering and science.

Please contact Derek Maness for information about the GEM Consortium Online Portal.

Campus Community Connection Visitation Program

The Graduate School Diversity Office staff are available to assist graduate programs with the recruitment of prospective students whom programs invite for campus visits and orientations. We have found that it is important for underrepresented students to know that there is a supportive community for them both on and off campus. During their campus visit, we will inform prospective students about the Community of Scholars Program (COSP) and campus-wide resources.

Faculty and Staff are invited to participate in the Graduate and Professional Schools Recruitment Council Google Group at the University of Minnesota. This online Google Group with more than 50 members offers the opportunity to discuss recruitment trends, graduate fairs and conferences, diversity recruitment and outreach; to connect with one another; to highlight our offerings and to discuss ways that we can coordinate collaborative efforts. Members at our semi annual meetings requested that a Google Group be created that would allow increased participation by campus recruiters and would serve as a venue for information on recruitment initiatives and best practices. Sharing tables at graduate fairs and conferences, for example, can help to save your resources. For further information or if you would like to become a Council Member, please contact Derek Maness (612-625-6858, dmaness@umn.edu).


What Makes the University of Minnesota Graduate School Unique?

Three people talking at recruitment event
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Please contact Derek Maness with questions or to discuss diversity recruitment strategies. 

Graduate School Diversity Office (GSDO)

The GSDO serves as an advocate and support system for underrepresented students throughout their graduate education journey.

Learn More About the GSDO

Diversity of Views and Experiences (DOVE)

The DOVE Fellowship provides recipients with tuition and financial support, and subsidized health and dental insurance so they can focus on their education and research.

Learn More About the DOVE

Community of Scholars Program (COSP)

The COSP provides Native Americans and graduate students of color with unique academic and professional growth opportunities.

Learn More About the COSP

McNair Scholar Summer Visitation Program

The McNair Program helps eligible, first-generation undergraduate students from low-income families prepare for and enter graduate programs.

Learn More About the McNair Program

Academic and Career Support

The Graduate School is here to ensure that students have access to the resources and support needed to develop your skills, expand your knowledge, and prepare students for the next step of their professional journey.

Learn More About Academic & Career Support