Since Fall 2020, the Office for Graduate Diversity’s (OGD) Path to the Professoriate (P2P) program has hosted four cohorts and more than 300 underrepresented doctoral students participating. P2P is designed to prepare first-year doctoral students from underrepresented backgrounds for assistant professorships and academic publication. Martha Chavez, Assistant Dean for Graduate Diversity, states that the program offers students “critical resources and connections to navigate their doctoral journeys by supporting their academic success and gaining knowledge and experiences to demystify the path to the professoriate”. 

For doctoral students of color, the path to the professoriate or faculty track comes with many systemic challenges. Studies have shown that the right support system and sense of community in the first year increases retention and graduation rates. P2P offers this strong start for 100 first year doctoral students each year through unique programming, social events and skill building workshops. The interest in P2P is on the rise. Registration increased 13% in 2023, and we see continued strong interest in other graduate diversity programs such as the Diversity and Community Fellows.

On September 29, the 2023-2024 Path to the Professoriate doctoral cohort took a field trip to the new Inclusive Excellence Hub. The Hub, also managed by OGD, is a first of its kind space especially for underserved and minoritized graduate students. This space at 2515 Channing had a soft opening in 2023, and will officially open in 2024 after construction and space improvements, including an outdoor gathering space are completed. During the field trip, the cohort had time to network, build community amongst one another, and take professional headshot photos for their portfolios.

 I am excited to have P2P participants leverage the resources, tools, and connections the program provides to successfully navigate their PhDs at Berkeley and to thrive and achieve their academic and professional goals, hopefully to become future tenure track faculty.


Martha ChavezAssistant Dean for Graduate Diversity

Chavez says this semester’s P2P program has a variety of exciting learning opportunities in store. Students in the program can expect a strong emphasis on “supporting belonging, inclusion, and building community; developing mentor and advisor relations, exposure to dissertation planning, and academic writing resources”.

For the spring, faculty-led workshops about publishing, dissertation writing, and academic career tracks are in the works. Recruitment for the next cohort of P2P students will begin in the summer.


This was a truly inclusive experience that I am fortunate to be a part of. Every week, I found something from the weekly topic that resonated with me as a non-traditional student.

P2P helped me find my footing as a first year grad student and instilled confidence where there had been some lacking before.