Recruitment and Retention Guide

Your mission: To recruit – and more importantly retain – graduate students that will become the next generation of innovators and leaders. This means reaching promising students of all backgrounds, statuses, and cultures and showing them what your program and the University of Washington has to offer. They should know how they will fit-in in your department and on campus. A strong sense of belonging plays a crucial role in graduate student success and this all begins in your outreach and recruitment efforts.

By attracting underrepresented minoritized (URM) graduate students, we improve and enrich the UW experience for all students and prepare them for the richness of a diverse society. If we provide supportive environments and ways for URM graduate students to connect with faculty and students across campus, they are more likely to stay and thrive at the UW and beyond.

Getting Started

GSEE serves as a resource to help with the recruitment and graduate student success of URM students. Drawing from our expertise and the more than 40 departmental diversity plans campus-wide, we have compiled this guide of best practices to help tailor your efforts in attracting and supporting a more racially diverse student body.

We also provide a number of tools to boost your recruitment efforts:

  • Prospective Student Days – Admitted prospective URM graduate students are invited to join us for PSDs which are now Virtual Visit Days. These events provide opportunities for prospective students to learn more about the network of support for URM graduate students on the UW campus.
  • National Name Exchange – This online database was developed and is maintained by the UW Graduate School. UW departments can gain free access to promising URM undergraduates from more than 54 nationally-known universities.
  • Outreaching Grads Program  – A corps of “OGs” from across the UW can connect with your prospective student(s) to share their experiences as a URM graduate student at the UW and in Seattle.
  • Recruiting materials toolkit – PDFs with information on GSEE, graduate student and alumni profiles, and other documents that you can download and print and distribute at recruiting events and to prospective students.

The most important first step your department can take is to establish a diversity committee of faculty, staff and graduate students who are committed to recruiting and supporting a racially diverse student population. The committee can set specific goals and deadlines and develop an action plan for diversifying your program/department/school/college, as well as consult with GSEE to identify and improve your diversity practices.