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Equity & Diversity

Our Commitment

If you're interested in learning more about
our PhD program or if you would like
to speak to one of our graduate
students, contact:

Jessie Eastman
Graduate Program Coordinator
1408A Social Sciences Building
267 19th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: 612-624-1187

"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 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

Concentration in Power, Equity, and Diversity

Our department is proud to announce a new Ph.D. concentration in Power, Equity, and Diversity beginning in Fall 2017. The goal of the 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 Director of Graduate Studies Kathryn Pearson at

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 through making it more diverse!

American Political Science Association (APSA) Minority Student Recruitment Program

The Political Science Department 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.  To enroll yourself or a student, fill out and submit the MSRP online form

APSA Minority Fellowship

Oanh Nguyen
Oanh Nguyen

My name is Oanh Nguyen and I am a PhD student in Comparative Politics. I am interested in the politics of South-South migrations, specifically within Southeast Asia. My dissertation will examine how (inter)national legal and labor structures constitute migrant subjectivity and govern migrant behavior. This project is inspired by my personal and professional experiences and is motivated by the need to critically understand the detrimental effects of certain migration policies/practices.

The continuing presence of the APSA Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) serves as a necessary reminder that certain categories of students remain under-represented within political science: first-generation students, LGBT+ students, students with disabilities, students of color, and intersections of all the above. Moving forward, I hope the MFP can be an opportunity for the field to discuss the critical role of diversity in higher education and acknowledge that the voices, ideas, and experiences of these students are unequivocally crucial in advancing the study of politics.

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

 UMN Student Organizations - Diversity 

Funding 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.