The College of Marine Science is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse student body, including people from different cultures, races, ages, sexual orientations, genders, and abilities. We are already doing an excellent job in this area, and we will continue this success into the future. The percentage of under-represented minorities (URM) in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is low compared to URMs in society (>30%). For ocean sciences, the percentage is even lower than other STEM fields. According to the National Science Foundation and the Consortium of Ocean Leadership surveys, underrepresented graduate student minorities (Hispanic, Black, Native American/Pac Islander) in ocean sciences is about 9% ± 5%.
Over the past fifteen years, our College has grown its diversity from ~2% to ~15% on average. In 2017, five out of ten PhD degrees awarded in our College were to URM students. Additionally, six out of 16 degrees awarded in our College were to URM students. Although this was an exceptional year, our goal is to grow our diversity as much as qualified applicant pool allows for (target of 19% by 2021). This effort will insure that our students are prepared for success in a diverse workplace environment.