Skip to content


We are committed to promoting diversity and fostering equity and inclusion in all aspects of our activities. This diversity is often rooted in current and historical experiences of oppression and prejudice that have disproportionately devalued people of different identities including, but not exclusive to, races, cultures, ethnicities, sexual orientations, genders, gender-identifications, abilities, and socioeconomic statuses.

Not only does catalyzing the power of diversity enrich all of us by exposing us to a range of ways to understand and engage with the world, identify challenges, and to discover, define, and deliver solutions, but it is also necessary for building a comprehensive understanding of human behavior. As such, we actively work to eliminate barriers and obstacles created by structural inequality and institutional discrimination.

We constantly strive to enhance the diverse representation among our faculty and graduate students.

Graduate Student Diversity

Here is the racial/ethnic make-up of our graduate students in Fall 2019:


% of Total Grad Students



African American





Thus, 42% of our students are Non-White and, contained within this groups, is 24% who belong to groups that is under-represented in graduate education. In addition, 27% of the students grew up in a country other than the United States.

Faculty Diversity

Our faculty come from a range of cultural backgrounds, 61% are women, and 39% were first-generation college students. More than half of our faculty members conduct research related to diversity, for example, focused on health disparities, effects of acculturation on health and development, cultural differences in child and family development, health and developmental impact of poverty and socioeconomic differentiation, and atypical development and developmental disability.

Campus Diversity

UC Merced has a highly diverse campus population, where only 10% of undergraduates are non-Latino White and over 50% are Latino/a. Moreover, over 72% are first-generation students, over 71% speak a language other than English at home, and over 60% qualify for Pell grants. Graduate students thus work with a highly diverse student population in both classroom and lab settings. Moreover, the subject pool used to recruit research participants for some research projects is highly diverse, enriching our research. The social environment of the whole campus, as well as the San Joaquin Valley region, therefore attracts diverse graduate students to pursue PhD studies here.

Updated 2021