Broadening the Pathway for Graduate Studies in Political Science

Broadening the Pathway for Graduate Studies in Political Science

By Fernando Tormos-Aponte, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Mayra Velez-SerranoUniversity of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras

Between 1995 and 2005, Latinxs comprised 8.6% of political science undergraduate students in the United States. Yet, during this period, Latinxs comprised only 4.1% of PhD recipients. Since then, the share of Latinx PhD recipients has plateaued at 5% of political science and government doctoral-degree recipients; although more Latina women receive bachelor’s degrees in political science, the share of women decreased considerably at the PhD level (Monforti and Michelson 2008, 161). The slow pace of progress in this arena should come as no surprise because undergraduates from underrepresented groups seeking to pursue graduate studies in political science continue to face significant hurdles. This article briefly discusses the challenges that students from underrepresented groups face as they transition into graduate studies. We develop a series of recommendations for addressing these challenges.

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