Photo of Sather Gate at UC Berkeley
Students cross Sather Gate on UC Berkeley’s Campus.

The UC Berkeley Graduate Diversity Pilot Program provides funding to UC Berkeley departments to address issues of bias, foster healthy and respectful departmental climates, and advance equity, inclusion, and diversity.

Established in July 2020 by the Graduate Division, along with other anti-racism and diversity initiatives, the program awards grants totaling $1.5 million over 4 years to nine departments across campus. The commitment is one of the largest single financial investments toward diversity efforts made by any graduate division in the nation.

Of the 25 proposals originally submitted, the Graduate Division selected the nine awardee departments based on their proposals’ alignment with the goals of the program, relevance and potential for broad impact, and feasibility and sustainability of their evaluation plans.

Each department receives up to $175,000 over four years from the Graduate Division to support the activities budgeted in their proposals. The nine departments include: Architecture, Chemistry (including Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering), Comparative Literature, Geography, History, Integrative Biology, Linguistics, the School of Information (I School), and Sociology.

Recruitment is a priority as Berkeley strives to reflect California’s full diversity. Though the percentage has been rising steadily, students from underrepresented minorities still comprise only 14.7% of Berkeley’s graduate student body as of fall 2020.

Specifically, the program provides funding to advance diversity in graduate outreach and admissions; improve departmental climates for graduate and undergraduate students, staff, faculty (including lecturers), and postdocs; and enhance faculty graduate student mentorship.

The Graduate Division distributed the first round of funding in fall 2020. The investment has allowed departments to advance activities that had been part of ongoing diversity efforts and to launch new programs, such as graduate diversity fellowships and training programs.

Read about the initial announcement of the Graduate Diversity Pilot Program Grants here.