The College of Marine Science is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse student body, and to competing for the most highly qualified applicants in the country. 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 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 2013, seven out of 14 PhD degrees awarded in our College were to URM students. Although that 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.
We are committed to producing outstanding marine scientists, who are well-prepared for positions in academe, industry, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations at local to international levels. We are committed to generate highly competitive MS and PhD students prepared for employment and leadership positions in ocean sciences. We are also committed to increase engagement with underrepresented students.