The Graduate School has a long-standing commitment to increasing the diversity and quality of its graduate student body. Our primary goals are to increase enrollment of students from traditionally underrepresented groups, to provide students with sufficient funding to complete their graduate studies in a timely manner, and to promote an academic and social environment where these scholars can flourish. Targeted recruiting strategies (including undergraduate research opportunities like the Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) that give potential students a taste of the graduate student experience) are vital to these efforts, and the involvement of Duke's graduate faculty is central to these strategies.
A key mission of the Office of Graduate Student Affairs is to coordinate, supplement, and expand the recruiting efforts of graduate departments and programs. Each year GSA participates in recruitment fairs across the country that enable us to meet potential graduate students and to answer any questions they might have about Duke's graduate programs. GSA coordinates with other nearby schools to bring talented undergraduates from across the country to visit our campuses. Activities during these visits typically include seminars on graduate admissions and financial aid, panel discussions with faculty and graduate students, departmental visitations, and informal gatherings.
Other mechanisms the Graduate School employs in the recruitment of students from traditionally underrepresented groups include participation in national consortia designed to promote diversity in graduate education; targeted faculty recruitment visits to colleges and universities; and the development of external and institutional funding to support summer research opportunities for undergraduates.
GSA provides general counseling for students from traditionally underrepresented groups, develops programs to enhance their participation in graduate student life, and helps students to identify external sources of funding. The office also provides recruitment, retention, and completion data and helps to initiate various summer research opportunities that identify potential graduate students early in their college careers.