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Graduate Diversity Initiatives


Funded by the National Science Foundation, PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) is a university system-wide effort to increase the number of minority students receiving doctoral degrees and entering the professoriate in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

As one of PROMISE’s founding partners, the University of Maryland coordinates several programs and activities in collaboration with the other founding partners, the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Activities include:

  • Dissertation House, which facilitates students' progression through the doctoral dissertation process by providing the professional consultation, guidance, and support necessary for scholarly research and writing.
  • Graduate Research Symposium and Professional Development Conference, which prepares students for faculty careers and allows them to present their work and receive feedback in preparation for presenting at larger conferences.
  • GEM Grad Lab, which encourages students of color to pursue advanced STEM field degrees by offering them guidance on preparing for advanced degrees and exposing them to the programs, resources, and opportunities available to them upon entry into graduate school.
  • PROMISE Postdoctoral Fellowship, which provides a postdoctoral scholar with an enriching, year-long research experience that includes a stipend, benefits, career development guidance.

McNair Graduate Fellowship Program

Through the Ronald E. McNair Graduate Fellowship Program, the Graduate School provides a select number of undergraduate McNair scholars who attend UMD for their graduate studies with full support for the first year of enrollment. This support includes a stipend, tuition, health insurance, and mandatory fees. Currently, there are 23 McNair Graduate Fellows on campus.

Summer Research Opportunity Program

Initiated in 1986 by the Graduate Deans of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) encourages talented, underrepresented undergraduates to pursue graduate study, and subsequently, academic careers. UMD’s College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS) and the School of Public Health (SPH) offer exciting summer research opportunities consistent with the SROP’s goal of increasing the number of those underrepresented in the sciences.

Shady Grove Program

Preparing Universities at Shady Grove (USG) Students for Graduate Studies is a free program that provides USG undergraduates, post-baccalaureate students, and alumni with the knowledge and tools needed to prepare for graduate school, with the goal of increasing the number of underrepresented students applying to and enrolling in graduate school. The program occurs weekly during the spring semester as a series of workshops led by administrators, faculty, and staff from University System of Maryland institutions. Workshop topics include the value of graduate education, the application process, funding, and test preparation. This program is supported by UMD’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion and co-hosted by the UMD Graduate School and USG’s Center for Academic Success.

Watch the introductory USG video below:

 Watch the full length USG video below: