Diversity Programs

Goal: A list, with details, of all programs operating within Astronomy to increase participation by under-represented groups.

NSF Resources

MPS broadening participation resources page

ASTRO broadening participation resources page

High School Programs

Graduate + Undergraduate (+ more) Programs

UC Berkeley Physical Sciences: The Compass Project 

The Compass Project is a join graduate and undergraduate program that focuses on retention and professionalo development for a diverse group  of students. 

Arizona State University Physical Sciences: The Sundial Program

Loosely based on the Compass Project, the Sundial Pogram focuses on community building, student retention, and career development. 

Princeton University: Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Initiative

The pre-doctoral fellowship is a one-year, fully funded fellowship that includes an offer of regular admission to the Princeton Astrophysics PhD program the following year. The fellowship is intended for students who would benefit from an additional year of training before formally entering the sponsoring departments' PhD program.  Each student will meet with our director of graduate studies to design a yearlong program, customized to help the student obtain whatever knowledge or skills they may need.  For example, some students may have already studied astronomy but need to take upper-level physics courses, or vice versa. In some cases, the student will have had a good academic preparation but needs more experience with scientific computing or basic research skills.  

Graduate Programs

Penn State: STEM Fall Open House

The Penn State Graduate School invites underrepresented junior and senior undergraduates to visit Penn State and get a feel for the campus and the opportunities offered here. All meals, hotel accommodations, as well as travel costs are provided. These students interact with current graduate students, as well as departments they are interested in, to see what life here could be like.

Bridge Programs

Fisk-Vanderbilt Physical Sciences Masters-to-PhD Bridge Program 

The Fisk-Vanderbilt Bridge program admits students who need additional preparation before beginning a PhD to obtain a master's at Fisk while receiving additional mentoring and research opportunities at Vanderbilt; most students persue a PhD at Vanderbilt or elsewhere. 

UC San Diego-Morehouse Physics Bridge Program

The UCSD-Morehouse program starts as an undergraduate research opportunity to bring Morehouse students to UCSD to participate in summer research but also includes graduate stupport for students admitted into the UC system for graduate school. 

Cal-Bridge: a California State University/University of California Astronomy and Physics Bridge Program

The Cal-Bridge program is a partnership between University of California, California State University (CSU), and community college faculty that aims to increase the number of CSU students from groups traditionally underrepresented in astronomy and physics who complete bachelor's degrees and enter a PhD program, particularly  at one of the participating UC campuses (UCI, UCLA, UCSD, UCR, UCSB).  

The Cal-Bridge consortium of over 25 Physics and Astronomy faculty from a network of 5 UC campuses, 8 CSU campuses, and 7 community colleges in southern California, come together to create a CSU-UC PhD Bridge program designed to use research-validated selection methods to identify “diamonds-in-the-rough”, students from underrepresented groups who display strong non-cognitive abilities, along with academic potential, and to provide them with the support necessary to successfully matriculate to a PhD program, targeted at the 5 southern California UC campuses in the Cal-Bridge network. Once selected, Cal-Bridge Scholars benefit from financial support, intensive, joint mentoring by CSU and UC faculty, professional development workshops, and exposure to research opportunities at the participating UC campuses.

Wesleyan University Masters in Astronomy

The 2-year MA program in astronomy at Wesleyan serves as a bridge to the PhD for promising students who need additional coursework or research experience to prepare for entrance to a PhD program in astronomy.

University of North Texas and the University of Texas at Dallas Astrophysics Bridge Program

The “Building a Team for EXtragalactic AStrophysics (TEXAS)” program involves a partnership between the University of North Texas and the University of Texas at Dallas. The goal of this one-year Bridge Program is to prepare students to attend astronomy and astrophysics graduate schools by providing additional educational and research experience.

Columbia University Natural Sciences Bridge to PhD Program

This Bridge to PhD program hires Post-Bac students as research assistants and provides them with some coursework, mentoring, and research experience to assist them in preparation for PhD programs. 

The Following are all APS Bridge Programs:

Ohio State University Physics Masters to PhD Bridge Program

The OSU Physics bridge program is designed for under-represented students who have completed and undergraduate major but find themselves needing additional preparation to pursure a PhD. 

University of South Florida Physics Bridge Program 

The USF Bridge program admits students who wish to pursue a PhD in physics but need additional preparation. 

California State University Long Beach Physics 

Appears to be a Masters program that then works to get students accepted into PhD programs at other schools.

Florida State University Physics Masters-to-PhD Bridge Program 

The FSU bridge program provides both financial and mentoring support for students need extra preperation before beginning their PhDs. 

Undergraduate Programs
University of Maryland Astronomy & Physics (GRAD-MAP)

Graduate Resources Advancing Diversity with Maryland Astronomy and Physics (GRAD-MAP) strives to build strong ties with mid-Atlantic minority-serving institutions (MSIs) through seminars, forums, workshops, science discussions, and research. We connect promising MSI students with our graduate and faculty researchers at UMD. Our goal is to give underrepresented students the skills and experience to successfully pursue graduate degrees in physics and astronomy. In doing so, we will significantly improve the diversity of Physics and Astronomy graduate student populations and serve as an example for future initiatives throughout the United States. We have a three-pronged approach, successfully launched during our 2013-2014 pilot year and to be continued in the 2014-2015 school year comprised of the following components:

  1. Collaborative Seminar Series: UMD faculty and graduate students visit local MSIs. Faculty present short research talks and graduate students present an overview of the path to REUs and graduate school, the life of a graduate student, and the career opportunities for a PhD graduate.
  2. Winter Workshop: Promising students selected via an application process to come to UMD for a ten-day workshop to build skills in computing, application-writing, and research, complete a research project, and visit local physics and astronomy research facilities.
  3. Spring Symposium: Faculty and students from our partner MSIs come to UMD for a day of research talks and discussions on mentoring and facilitating collaborations.

GRAD-MAP is organized by graduate students in the UMD physics and astronomy departments and supported financially by the physics and astronomy departments. Connect with us on Twitter (@GRADMAP), Facebook, and through our website!

University of Washington Astronomy Pre-MAP (Pre-Major in Astronomy Program)

Pre-MAP seeks to increase the number of under-represented students who choose to major in Astronomy and other STEM fields through a research seminar that takes place during the first year at UW combined with community building and mentorship.

University of Texas at Austin TAURUS Program

The TAURUS program is a full-time, 9-week summer research experience for highly-motivated undergraduate students from underserved and traditionally marginalized groups.  We prepare these excellent students to enter graduate school in top-rated astronomy programs or the STEM workforce by providing authentic research experiences, ongoing professional development, and community support beyond the conclusion of the summer program. We are committed to addressing structural and cultural marginalization (people of color, LGBTQIA, those with disabilities, intersectional groups) within academic research through discussion and building a strong sense of community via mutual respect as scientists, learners, and individuals.

Research topics available to students range from planets around other stars and stellar evolution, to galaxy formation and evolution and astronomical instrumentation. Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers will host a number of mini-workshops throughout the summer for TAURUS students to discuss topics related to astronomy careers, programming, research, scientific writing, and much more. Students will also take a trip to McDonald Observatory, a cutting-edge astronomical facility in West Texas. 

Students in the TAURUS program are provided housing on the University of Texas at Austin campus as well as travel funds for their trip to and from Austin. In addition, the students will receive competitive stipends. Pending supervisor approval, students will also get the opportunity to attend a winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society to present a poster on their work. 

National Astronomy Consortium

The National Astronomy Consortium (NAC) is a program led by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and Associated Universities Inc., (AUI) in partnership with the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP), and a number of minority and majority universities to increase the numbers of students otherwise overlooked by the traditional academic pipeline into STEM or STEM-related careers.  

We  accomplish this by:

  1. Providing research and or internship opportunities for short and/or long term experiences at partner sites.
    • Research experiences in astronomy, physics, chemistry or engineering
    • Internships to explore science policy, E/PO activities, scientific writing, computing, project management
  2. Providing a framework to engage students in research / STEM-related activity throughout their school year 
  3. Providing long term / career mentoring (peer and faculty/staff mentoring).

NAC builds on the very successful  "Posse Foundation" model and aims to create a cohort of 4--6 students a year for a summer research experience like an REU.  But unlike an REU students form a cohort and prepare well-before arriving to the site, work in a group setting with multiple mentors, discuss and paractice many soft and hard skills + professional development and career topics.   The cohorts also discuss and learn about diversity issues, challenges that they might face in the future and how to deal with them.  Finally they are asked to also commit to continuing research in the school year after the summer and stay engaged with the local and NAC mentors.  The students get together at least twice after the summer - at an annual NAC workshop (in September usually in DC) and at the AAS in January.  Please see our webpages for more info and details. 

CAMPARE (California Arizona Minority Partnership for Astronomy Research and Education)

CAMPARE is a summer research program in which students selected from a network of 22 California State University (CSU) campuses and California Community Colleges (CCC) spend 10 weeks as research interns at one of ten major research institutions in California or Arizona (University of Arizona Steward Observatory, the SETI Institute, JPL, Caltech, Northern Arizona University, and the five southern California UC campuses, UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, and UC Santa Barbara). Almost all of the CSU and CCC campuses in the network are Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs).

There are a number of features of CAMPARE that make it different from a traditional REU program:

  1. The creation of a network of Hispanic-serving CSU campuses and community colleges from which the students are recruited
  2. the mechanisms of recruitment of students to the CAMPARE program
  3. the participation of multiple world class research institutions in the CAMPARE program
  4. the careful recruitment of research mentors who are experienced and motivated to work with CAMPARE students
  5. the creation of an alternate education track for students who wish to pursue education or public outreach as a career
  6. the creation of a well-designed and robust mentoring and cohort-building program with a special emphasis on involving the students’ families, to provide mentoring and support to the CAMPARE students at every stage of the program, and at every level, with the overall goal of helping them develop a career plan and persist in that plan
  7. the collaboration with a CC-CSU-UC PhD bridge program, Cal-Bridge, a partnership between many of the CAMPARE home institutions and five UC Departments of Physics and Astronomy (see above under Bridge Programs)

For more information, see our websites, www.cpp.edu/campare and www.cpp.edu/calbridge.

Boston University Pre-MaP (Pre-Major Program)

The BU Pre-Major in Program also aims to increase the number of under-represented students who choose to major in STEM fields through a research seminar and mentorship. 

Grinnell Science Project 

The GSP identifies students interested in science - particularly those that are traditionally under-represented - and prvides additional mentorship and support. 

City University of New York/American Museum of Natural History/Flatiron Institute Center for Computational Astrophysics: AstroCom NYC

AstroComNYC links CUNY 2-year and 4-year students who are interested in Astronomy with mentorship and research opportunities with astronomers throughout NYC. 

University of Colorado, Boulder CU-STARS 

The CU-STARs (Science, Technology, and Astronomy Recruits) program at the University of Colorado, Boulder is targeted to address the main triggers of early career attrition for underrepresented minorities in STEM disciplines.  By providing financial support (through work-study at the campus Planetarium), social engagement, mentorship, free tutoring, and an active support network, we aim to build an inclusive community to support the STARs in their STEM major.   The culmination of the program for the recruits are a series of high school outreach events in underserved areas (inner city and rural alike), in which they become the expert. The STARs are paid for their time and take the lead in planning, teaching, and facilitating programs for the high school students, including classroom presentations, interactive lab activities, solar observing, and star parties.  The high school outreach events provide role models and STEM exposure for the underserved high school community while simultaneously cementing the personal achievements and successes for the STARs. CU-STARs is now in its 4th year and is still growing.

University of Utah Graduate Preparation Institute

The Graduate Preparation Institute is an intensive four-week summer research program for college juniors and seniors from historically underrepresented communities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Graduate Preparation Institute (GPI) students come to learn about the process of applying to graduate school, work on their graduate school applications, and conduct research in STEM fields (including Astronomy)

Princeton Prospective PhD Preview (P3)

The Prospective Ph.D. Preview (P3) is a multi-day event bringing prospective PhD applicants to our campus.  It is designed for prospective students to gather information on graduate education at Princeton University. This event is open to any interested students however, we highly encourage participation from first generation/low income students and historically underrepresented groups (which include African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans) given the disparity in graduate education across the country.


University of Arizona, Tucson Initiative for Minority Engagement in Science and TEchnology Program (TIMESTEP)

TIMESTEP is a discipline-specific career development program that supports Astronomy and Physics undergraduate students at UA throughout their degrees and prepares them for the realities of career trajectories in both academia and the private sector.  TIMESTEP activities are open to all students, but activities are designed to meet the needs of students from historically underrepresented backgrounds.

Programing falls under five major categories: 1) Discussions led by recent alumni; 2) TIMESTEP Leaders program where Seniors/Juniors lead discussions; 3) Career coaching led by UA Astro/Physics faculty and industry leaders; 4) Workshops to advance community values, led by trained professionals; 5) Summer Internship Program at local tech companies.  


Page last modified on Monday 19 of December, 2022 12:40:53 EST