Boston University prides itself on a history of inclusion, admitting students regardless of race, religion, or gender since our founding in 1839. That legacy includes BU’s most renowned graduate, Martin Luther King, Jr. (GRS’55, Hon.’59). Today, our students, scholars, and faculty represent more than 140 countries and all 50 states, reflecting an exciting range of worldviews and life experiences.
Yet there is still work to be done. So, we’re redoubling our efforts and commitment to attracting, supporting, and promoting a wide variety of voices and backgrounds at BU, including , but not limited to, individuals who are historically underrepresented in the academy, are first in their families to attend college, are members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and who live with physical, intellectual, or mental disabilities.
To that end, in October 2017 the University hired its inaugural Associate Provost for Diversity & Inclusion, with a primary focus on helping to diversify our faculty and staff. The new associate provost is, in part, building on the ongoing efforts and commitment of the Associate Provost for Graduate Affairs, which includes the recent hiring of two faculty fellows for diversity and inclusion. They will focus on recruitment, admission, retention, and community-building in the area of graduate education.
As we continue to try to fulfill the promise of our legacy, we recognize this work is ongoing, an evolution. Our goal: ensure that BU is a university not only where everyone can participate and thrive, but one that harnesses intellectual innovation and interconnection, and capitalizes on, and exalts, the dynamism that true diversity can offer. Build the future with us.
Boston University Statement on Diversity
Read the official Boston University Statement on Diversity.
Below, you’ll find a list of diversity resources for graduate students. Additionally, if you’re looking for other ways to connect with fellow students, check our listing of student groups and associations.
Offices and Initiatives
Office of Diversity & Inclusion
Diversity & Inclusion works closely, and collaboratively, with academic leaders in all 17 schools and colleges, countless centers and institutes, as well as administrative units across the University to build a positive and inclusive campus environment, to help ensure that not only are we more diverse but also that pathways to success and participation are open to every member of the BU community. Boston University Vice President and Associate Provost for Community & Inclusion Crystal Williams envisions and directs strategic initiatives promoting diversity, access, and inclusion throughout BU.
The Newbury Center for First-Generation Students
The Newbury Center celebrates and fosters the success of first-generation undergraduate, graduate, and professional students at Boston University. Through various programs and events, and with the support of faculty, staff, and alumni, the Newbury Center creates a community of belonging and the ability for first-generation students to thrive.
Diversity & Inclusion Task Force
In 2015, the provost’s Diversity & Inclusion Task Force facilitated University-wide discussions on diversifying the BU community and submitted a final report of strategic objectives in May 2016.
Faculty Development Diversity Initiatives
The Office of the Provost Faculty Development site provides diversity-relevant resources and services designed to assist with faculty recruitment, professional growth, and inclusion.
Faculty Fellows for Diversity & Inclusion in PhD Education
Two professors, Anita L. DeStefano, PhD and Simone Gill, PhD serve as the Faculty Fellows for Diversity & Inclusion in PhD Education. The pair works closely with the Associate Provost for Graduate Affairs, the Vice President and Associate Provost for Community & Inclusion, and a soon-to-be-formed advisory group to develop a University-wide strategy for improving recruitment, admission, and retention of underrepresented students in BU PhD programs and for strengthening the inclusiveness of our PhD student community. This work involves coordination and collaboration with BU schools and colleges with doctoral programs and, as appropriate, with individual departments and faculty members.
Graduate Medical Sciences Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Graduate Medical Sciences believes that an enriching educational experience is strengthened by diversity of thought which in turn drives the forces of innovation. We embrace differences in ethnicity, race, gender identity and expression, disability status, religion, sexual orientation, immigration status and socioeconomic backgrounds in our learning community.
Questrom School of Business Diversity & Inclusion
The Questrom School of Business community is made up of students from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, gender identities, gender expressions, socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientations, religions, abilities, and more. This wide variety of backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities create an enriching and dynamic student experience.
School of Medicine Diversity & Inclusion Office
The School of Medicine Diversity & Inclusion office is involved in a variety of activities designed to enrich the educational experiences of medical students, including participation in the interviewing and selection of students for admission to MED, monitoring the progress of students, and offering lessons in cultural competency.
School of Law Diversity and Inclusion
Boston University School of Law has offered legal education to all qualified students without regard to race, gender, or religion since 1872. This tradition continues today though a strong system of support and mentorship. Our Associate Dean for Equity, Justice & Engagement facilitates initiatives and programs focused on diversifying the faculty and staff, and fosters education on interpersonal and cultural competencies. And, our Associate Director for Student Diversity, Equity & Engagement, works closely with affinity groups and individual students to make sure that all communities are supported and have opportunities to advocate for their personal, and communal, success.
School of Public Health Diversity & Inclusion Office
The School of Public Health’s commitment to diversity and inclusion strengthens its voice as a community while elevating its ability to eliminate health disparities locally, nationally, and globally. SPH maintains and celebrates this commitment through excellence and innovation in research, education, and service.
Wheelock College of Education & Human Development Diversity and Inclusion
The Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion fosters the development of diverse perspectives throughout Boston University Wheelock College of Education and Human Development. This committee collects and disseminates information and compels action to develop and support efforts to promote Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion throughout the College. Issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion include, but are not limited to, religion, race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, and disability. In addition, this committee will address issues of faculty, staff, and student well-being, including considerations of compensation, workload, and access to resources. Dr. Raul Fernandez is BU Wheelock’s Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; in that role, he works in collaboration and in parallel with the EDI Committee to lead initiatives and shape policies that support greater equity, diversity, and inclusion within BU Wheelock and the broader University community.
Diversity & Inclusion Events at BU
Boston University Diversity and Inclusion hosts a variety of community events aimed at sparking dialogue, nurturing a positive campus climate, and connecting BU faculty, students, and staff around issues of diversity, access, and inclusiveness.
Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground
The Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground preserves Dr. Howard Thurman’s (Hon.’67) legacy of breaking barriers of divisiveness, providing opportunities for personal growth and community building through special programs, events, and resources.
Resources for Women
ARROWS: Advance, Recruit, Retain & Organize Women in STEM
The ARROWS mission is to organize, align, and vertically integrate programs created to advance women throughout the STEM community at Boston University.
Graduate Women in Science & Engineering
Graduate Women in Science & Engineering (GWISE) at Boston University strives to create a community to support and promote women in science, technology, engineering, and math fields. Through professional development seminars and workshops, social events, mentoring, and outreach, GWISE fosters interaction across all disciplines at BU and connects graduate students to postdocs, faculty, and broader networks in Boston and beyond.
Boston University Women’s Guild
The BU Women’s Guild is a woman-to-woman organization that provides the women of BU with a forum to discuss topics of common interest and with the opportunity to meet women from across the University whom they otherwise might not get to know.
Women’s Professional Development Committee
The Women’s Professional Development Committee provides a supportive space to host professional development opportunities for graduate-level women in science at Boston University through establishing and cultivating a network of exemplary mentorship with women in a diversity of scientific careers.
Disability & Access Services
The Disability & Access Services is committed to providing equal and integrated access for all members of the University community.
Equal Opportunity Office
The Equal Opportunity Office works to promote and realize the University’s commitment to equal opportunity and affirmative action and ensure that the University meets its obligations under federal and state laws and regulations.
Office of the Ombuds
The Office of the Ombuds is an independent, impartial, informal problem-solving resource serving faculty, staff, and students on the Charles River, Fenway, and Medical Campuses.
Fellowships & Scholarships for Graduate Students
There are several fellowships and funding opportunities available to graduate students, honoring people who have expanded boundaries and achieved excellence in various fields.