Grad School sees diversity rise in applications

Princeton's Graduate School admitted 1,122 of the 8,614 applicants who applied for the 2006-07 academic year, and 23 percent of those admitted were underrepresented minorities and women applying to the fields of science and engineering.

The 13 percent overall admission rate is up only slightly from the 12.9 percent of applicants who were admitted last year. However, applications were up 6 percent over last year's 8,120. The number of admitted students who accepted the school's offer of admission by the April 15 postmark deadline was 556, or 50 percent compared to last year's 51 percent.

According to the Graduate School's Associate Dean for Academic Affairs David Redman, extensive outreach to African Americans, Latinos and American Indians increased the number of students from those groups accepting offers of admission by 110 percent. The number of underrepresented students expected to enroll climbed from 19 last year to 40.

"We have created a situation where departments are getting the message that diversity is a priority in the Graduate School and at the University," Redman said. "We worked productively with departments to forward information about strong minority applicants on a schedule that gave departments more time to fully review the material, and the result was the departments had their pick of an impressive pool of minority applicants."

While graduate candidates submit applications to the Graduate School, faculty members in the individual departments that will award the degrees actually review the applications and make recommendations for admission.

"I think the success story this year is the sociology department, which admitted six underrepresented students, four of whom are coming," Redman said. "But also another success is the chemistry department, where all three underrepresented students who were admitted accepted our offer of admission. The point is you have to have several departments doing this consistently in order to increase numbers, and that remains our goal."

Underrepresented minorities made up 6.6 percent of all the applicants offered admission compared to 5.8 percent last year. Women in science and engineering departments made up 16.4 percent, which is about the same as last year.

Among the 3,657 international students who submitted applications, the 395 offered admission made up 35 percent of the admit pool, with the largest number of applicants coming from China. The 226 international students who accepted offers of admission will make up 40.6 percent of the incoming graduate degree candidates.

Fields admitting the highest numbers of their applicants were engineering and natural sciences, which admitted about 18 percent and 17 percent of their applicants respectively. The percentages of admitted applicants for other fields were 13 percent for the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, 10 percent for departments in the humanities, and 9 percent each for architecture and social sciences.

The largest numbers of students will enroll in the natural sciences, engineering and social sciences.

The average standardized Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores on the verbal section for admitted graduate students by discipline ranged from 595 for engineering admits to 678 for applicants to departments in the humanities. Scores on the quantitative section ranged from 673 for humanities admits to 785 for engineering applicants. All scores are out of a possible 800.

The Graduate School expects total fall enrollment to be about 2,030 students, the same as this year, though an additional estimated 250 students are expected to hold the new Dissertation Completion Enrollment status introduced this year for students completing the dissertation portion of their degree requirement.