Diversity in Psychology Program

The University of Minnesota Graduate Programs in Psychology (Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Educational Psychology) are proud to offer an annual Diversity in Psychology Program. In 2024, the live, full-day virtual event will be held Friday, October 18. Applications are accepted annually June 1-August 25.

2019 Diversity in Psychology Program Attendees

While the Diversity in Psychology Program (DPP) is open to all prospective applicants to University of Minnesota doctoral programs in psychology regardless of race, ethnicity, or national origin, it will center the experiences of individuals with backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented in the field of psychology. This includes, but is not limited to, individuals who identify as BIPOC, low income, disabled, 2SLGBTQIA+, first-generation college students, and military veterans.

DPP provides a coordinated set of online resources, faculty mentorship opportunities, and interactive Zoom sessions that:

  • Support the development of competitive graduate school applications.
  • Help participants learn if doctoral study in psychology is a good fit for their interests and goals.
  • Provide information about the doctoral programs offered by the Department of Psychology, the Institute of Child Development, and the Department of Educational Psychology.  

The Diversity in Psychology Program is hosted by the Department of Psychology in collaboration with the Institute of Child Development and the Department of Educational Psychology who serve as co-sponsors. We accept applications from individuals interested in the programs offered by any of these “Tri-Psych” departments.

Please note that acceptance to the Diversity in Psychology Program does not guarantee admission to any graduate program. To be considered for possible admission to a UMN graduate program, DPP participants must apply via the Graduate School's online application portal and undergo the program’s standard application review process.

To be considered for the Diversity in Psychology Program, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a junior or senior in a bachelor’s program; have graduated with a bachelor's degree; or be enrolled in a terminal master's-level graduate program in psychology. Students currently attending the University of Minnesota are eligible to apply.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or lawfully here on a non-temporary basis (e.g. permanent residents, asylees, refugees).
  • Be interested in pursuing training in one of the Tri-Psychology Departments’ doctoral programs (listed below).

The application portal for the Diversity in Psychology Program is open annually June 1-August 25.

  1. Confirm your eligibility and determine if DPP is a good fit for your graduate school application journey.
  2. Explore the Tri-Psychology Department Doctoral Programs and research their faculty to learn if one may be a good fit for your research interests and graduate training goals. While a commitment to applying for graduate admission to one of our programs is not a requirement for participation, some aspects of the DPP program are organized by department and/or training program, so the application will invite you to identify programs of potential interest.
  3. Prepare an applicant statement responding to this prompt.
  4. Update your résumé or curriculum vitae (CV) and save it as a PDF file. Name the file in the format: Last Name, First Name - resume, or Last Name, First Name - CV
  5. Download your unofficial bachelor’s transcript and, if applicable, your unofficial master’s transcript (compile all transcripts into a single PDF file). Name the file in the format: Last Name, First Name - transcript 
  6. Complete the online application (link is live June 1-August 25). The deadline to apply is 12:00 noon CDT on August 25. 

The Diversity in Psychology Program helps participants learn about the following doctoral programs:

Department of Psychology

The Psychology PhD program offers seven areas of specialization:

Institute for Child Development (ICD)

The PhD in Developmental Psychology program offers two areas of specialization:

Department of Educational Psychology

The Department of Educational Psychology offers four doctoral programs:

Applications are reviewed holistically using an assessment rubric with the following four criteria: 

  • Overall quality of the applicant statement (responding to this prompt)
  • Evidence of preparation for doctoral-level study and evidence of academic and research preparation
  • Alignment of applicant’s goals with DPP’s scope
  • Applicant’s commitment to excellence through diversity

Applicants to DPP will be notified of evaluators’ decisions one month in advance of the DPP virtual event. 

Learn about the Diversity in Psychology Program experience from past participants:

  • “Knowledge of the ‘language’ of academia and understanding the ‘rules of the road’ are so important for success in many graduate school applications, but lacking that knowledge and experience could keep out applicants that would still have been successful in their programs. DPP is a fantastic way to receive some opportunities to gain a better understanding of the application process and path to graduate school and beyond, while fostering a sense of belonging.” 
    Anonymous participant, 2023 DPP
  • “The Diversity in Psychology Program allowed me to learn a lot about the PhD application process before applying. It was extremely helpful to hear about the application process from both current graduate students as well as faculty members in the department. The continued investment of UMN's Tri-Psych departments on increasing and retaining diverse students is one of its greatest strengths. I felt valued as a participant and have been volunteering the last few years as a mentor! I encourage anyone who is eligible to apply because it is one of the best ways to learn about grad school before applying!”
    Romulus Castelo, Institute of Child Development, PhD Student, 2018 DPP
  • “The Diversity in Psychology Program was a great experience for me to learn more about the overall grad school application process, the psychology departments at UMN, what the Counseling Psych specialization has to offer, the lab in which I was interested, its research and its culture, and the different communities in the Twin Cities. Those couple of days made me fall in love with this PhD program and it quickly became my #1 choice! Grateful to be here!”
    Qurat-ul-ain Gulamhussein, Department of Psychology, PhD Student, 2016 DPP 
  • “Diversity in Psychology was one of the most impactful experiences during my graduate school application journey. I learned about school psychology right before applying for DPP, and I was having a crisis about what type of programs to apply for and where to apply. I was a little scared about moving to the Midwest from the East Coast. DPP gave me the opportunity to come to the Twin Cities, learn about all the different psychology programs, and talk directly with my current advisor Dr. Amanda Sullivan. I was shocked to see the commitment to recruitment and success of underrepresented students the department seemed to show. The trip solidified my interests in school psychology and UMN became my top choice. I can't imagine myself anywhere else!”
    Thuy Nguyen, Department of Educational Psychology, PhD Student, 2017 DPP
  • “Diversity in Psychology created an opportunity for me to connect with current faculty and students and learn about the graduate programs firsthand. I was especially inspired by the session where faculty shared their paths leading to academia. Their stories of overcoming obstacles have given me faith and encouraged me to continue pursuing an academic career. Even a year after my participation, a professor in the program reached out to me and offered to help me with graduate school applications by reviewing my personal statement. The program’s continued support and investment in underrepresented students demonstrated the school’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, which played a major role in my decision to come study here.”
    Jinyi Zhang, Institute of Child Development, PhD Student, 2019 DPP


As primary host, the Department of Psychology collects the Diversity in Psychology Program application materials on behalf of all three graduate programs. If you have questions about the Diversity in Psychology Program, its eligibility requirements, or how to apply for DPP, email psyapply@umn.edu (include “DPP” in the email title) for assistance.

Inquiries about the Tri-Psychology Departments’ doctoral programs and how to apply for admission can be directed as follows: