Equity & Diversity

Our Commitment

"Research shows that groups with greater diversity think more creatively and solve problems better. It is therefore a central goal for political science to welcome the diversity of citizens of the United States and the world to the study of politics. Our department sets a high value on creating classrooms, research, a graduate program, and a professoriate, who reflect ever greater diversity. Students of politics from all backgrounds are welcome in our department." —Joan C. Tronto, professor emerita of political theory

"The Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota is strongly committed to all forms of inclusion and diversity, including varieties of personal experiences, circumstances, and worldviews that arise from differences in ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, indigeneity, economic class, religion, different abilities, culture, and geography. We take pride in the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our faculty and students, and we strive to create an intellectual environment in which individuals with diverse views, experiences, and cultural backgrounds come together." —Howard Lavine, professor of political psychology

Graduate Concentration in Power, Equity, and Diversity

The goal of the Power, Equity, and Diversity concentration is to create an intellectual community in which people and topics that are often marginalized in the discipline—including the political organization of religion and religious minorities, Indigenous peoples, less powerful racial and ethnic groups, and issues related to class, and gender and sexuality—are put at the center of inquiry. The concentration will encompass readings from all subfields in political science and is open to any graduate student in the department.

The concentration will consist of a 10-week core course in Power, Equity, and Diversity (2 credits), a proseminar in Power, Equity, and Diversity (2 credits), and two elective courses.

If you have any questions about the Concentration in Power, Equity, and Diversity please contact the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS).

Faculty and Graduate Student Research (Equity/Diversity)

Members of our department are actively engaged in research that explores questions of diversity and equity from a variety of perspectives including race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, indigeneity, and income inequality. See our Faculty and Graduate Student Research page for specific articles in these areas.


In 2015, the department held its first recruitment day specifically for students from historically underrepresented groups with the goal of increasing the diversity of the pool of applicants, our graduate students, and our profession. As part of our recruiting efforts, we invited 170 of our PhD graduates and a student each graduate was mentoring to visit campus in the fall. Visiting students had the opportunity to attend seminars, socialize with other graduate student candidates from related social science disciplines, hear about current research in the department, explore the Twin Cities, and hear from graduate admissions faculty about how to write an appropriate graduate school application.

We are looking forward to this annual event and partnering with our PhD graduates to make our profession better by making it more diverse!

American Political Science Association (APSA) Minority Student Recruitment Program

The Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota is a Minority Student Recruitment Program (MSRP) Recruiting Graduate Department. APSA created MSRP to advance diversity in political science. The MSRP program, in collaboration with political science departments, identifies undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds who show potential for or are interested in doctoral study. This information is shared with other APSA MSRP recruiting departments.

Sophomore, junior, and senior minority students are eligible to participate in MSRP. Students may enroll themselves or ask their undergraduate advisor to submit their name and contact information. Faculty may enroll students they believe would be interested in learning more about doctoral study. Enroll yourself or a student by completing the SRP online form

APSA Minority Fellowship

Adam Lê


My name is Adam Lê and I am a PhD student in political science studying American politics and political theory. My research focuses on aspects of incarceration such as solitary confinement, mass incarceration, and the school-to-prison pipeline. I am interested in how these systems and institutions affect marginalized communities of color and the political ramifications that arise from the use of incarceration e.g., how schools normalize incarceration, criminalization, and racialized punishment in communities of color. For a future dissertation project, I hope to use a mixed-methods approach to explore the social and political consequences of incarceration at local, state, and federal levels in the United States.

The APSA Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) is an important reminder to racialized graduate students in political science that we, and our work, have a place within the discipline. It allows me to feel more comfortable when I embrace aspects of my identity and my background in academic settings and in my research. Being awarded the MFP makes me feel even more proud to be a Latinx and Southeast Asian scholar from Southside San Jose whose research will hopefully improve the conditions of communities like mine without forcing people out of it. With support from amazing professors at the University of Minnesota and from APSA, I will continue advocating for alternatives to incarceration in marginalized communities.

University Resources

In making diversity a core value, the University of Minnesota recognizes that its campuses flourish only when all students, staff, faculty, and external supporters have a community in which they can grow and thrive. The University’s access and diversity goals, values, and practices are fully interconnected, and the Office for Equity and Diversity (OED) comprises offices that work together—and in collaboration with faculty, staff, students, and administrators—to educate and serve all members of the University community.

UMN Diversity Support

UMN Student-Led Support

Funding for Graduate School

All students admitted to the graduate program are guaranteed five years of financial support through fellowships, research and teaching assistantships, or graduate instructorships. For more details, see the Graduate Studies Funding page.