Office of Academic Diversity



Welcome to the Office of Academic Diversity.  At Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, diversity is an academic value, one that is marker of institutional excellence as well as a benchmark of innovation for our research, programming, and student environment. If you have ideas for improving the work of the Office of Academic Diversity, wish to get involved in the upcoming events that the Office is hosting, or are interested in learning more about the Graduate School’s efforts in the area of diversity, equity, and student inclusion, I strongly encourage you to reach out to us at

The primary objective of GSAS's Office of Academic Diversity is to establish an inclusive, well-resourced, academically successful graduate student body that represents the richness of perspectives that defines Columbia's strength as a diverse scholarly community.

GSAS acknowledges how students' numerous personal and social identities inform and converge with their academic explorations. Supporting a diverse and inclusive academic environment is essential to maintaining the intellectual excellence and rigor that exemplify Columbia University, and GSAS values the vast array of human experiences and identities that shape and expand our capacity for living, learning, and leading in a pluralistic society. The Office of Academic Diversity is committed to creating and maintaining programs that foster a shared sense of community and respect at Columbia. To meet these goals, our initiatives focus on building and sustaining a culture of inclusion and equity.

GSAS OAD Calendar of Events


Academic Administration Fellows

The Office of Academic Diversity is not currently accepting applications for GSAS’s Fellowships in Academic Administration (FAA) Program.

Current Fellows:

Cesar Augusto Colon-Montijo

Brittany Nicole Fox

Graduate Student Mentor — Call for Applicants

The Office of Academic Diversity is hiring six graduate students to participate in the GSAS-Leadership Alliance Summer Research Program.  Graduate Student Mentors teach, train, and support undergraduate minority scholars that are conducting research at Columbia University under the direct supervision of Columbia faculty.  For more information on the Summer Research Program, please click here. To apply to be a Graduate Student Mentor, please click here.

OAD Focus Groups

GSAS Office of Academic Diversity welcomes graduate student volunteers to participate in a two-part focus group on Monday, March 6, and Tuesday, March 7, from 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. The Office of Academic Diversity wishes to get student feedback on a range of issues, including how best to meet student needs and how best to engage students interested in issues of diversity, inclusion, and social justice.  Student feedback will actively shape the programming direction for the Office of Academic Diversity.

Your participation is key in helping GSAS provide relevant resources that will both help you navigate your time at Columbia as well as fulfill our mission to enhance graduate student experience on our campus.

Lunch will be provided both days.  Registration will be capped at 7 students.

Click here to register.

OAD Research Collective 

The GSAS Office of Academic Diversity is organizing the first cohort of the OAD Research Collective, a program that will assemble an interdisciplinary group of PhD students from GSAS who are researching topics—such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class—that are of particular interest to underrepresented groups. The OAD Research Collective will convene throughout the Spring 2017 semester, and will culminate in the inaugural OAD Research Symposium in April 2017. OAD seeks a group of talented students who are willing to share their research and commit to the collective’s goals.

For more information about the collective, please click here.

Columbia FLIP-GSAS Network

Through the Columbia FLIP-GSAS Network, a new student diversity initiative sponsored by the GSAS Office of Academic Diversity, graduate students in the Arts and Sciences mentor undergraduates from Columbia’s First-Generation Low-Income Partnership (FLIP), who face a variety of academic, financial, psychological, and professional challenges. Mentors provide support in areas such as networking, undergraduate thesis writing, and applying to graduate school.

If you are interested in serving as a mentor, please apply here.

Ivon Padilla-Rodriguez

Student Spotlight:

An interview with Ivon Padilla-Rodriguez, a rising second-year student in the Political Science department.

Click here to read the interview.




Programs & Resources

OAD Job Materials Portal

Students may now submit job documents and materials to the Office of Academic Diversity for review.  Students can email their materials to the Office of Academic Diversity at We offer advice and comments on CVs, cover letters, research statements, and diversity statements; students should expect to receive written comments within three business days of initial submission.

Student Diversity Project Grant 

The Student Diversity Project Grant allows students to apply directly to the Office of Academic Diversity for funding to support events, projects, or programming that will enhance diversity and promote student inclusion efforts in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. To apply, please complete and submit the Student Diversity Project Grant application. The submission will be carefully reviewed, and the Assistant Dean for Academic Diversity will be in contact to arrange a short interview for a select number of proposals. 

The Office of Academic Diversity is currently accepting submissions for 2016-2017 grants. Click here to read an overview of the grant. Click here to download the proposal materials. 

Diversity Film Series

The Joy Luck Club

Joy Luck Club

Past Screenings:


Pariah Film Poster



Summer Research Program  

This is an immersive program in which undergraduates with a clear commitment to diversity in academia conduct research with mentors drawn from the ranks of Columbia faculty and graduate students.

Creating Connections Consortium (C3) 

Columbia is one of the founding institutions of the C3 initiative, which is designed to “address the challenges of diversity in higher education by building capacity, investing in cohorts of talented graduate students and faculty from underrepresented groups, and creating and nurturing connections between partners interested in institutional change.” GSAS students may apply for postdoctoral fellowships at C3 partners such as Middlebury, Williams, and Connecticut College, and participate in C3 conferences in both the fall and spring semesters.

C3 Summit

Each year, the Office of Academic Diversity sponsors ten graduate students to attend and present at the C3 Summit, a multi-institutional conference focused on issues of diversity and inclusion in higher education. This year’s Summit will be held at Williams College in Williamstown, MA on April 21 - 23, 2017.

Student Organizations

Contact Us

OAD Drop-in Hours

In an effort to sustain a student-focused perspective, the OAD will hold Drop-in Hours every Friday from 10 A.M. - 12 P.M. for students to meet with and talk to the Assistant Dean for Academic Diversity. Building inclusive communities is important to the mission and work of GSAS and the OAD, so we encourage students to use these hours to open and sustain dialogues, ask questions, share ideas for programming or events, and build a relationship with GSAS administrators and staff.