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Graduate Diversity Initiatives

Carmen Cortez, a graduate in ecology, stands in the Ecological Garden of the Student Farm


The Alliance for Multi-campus, Inclusive Graduate Admissions (AMIGA)

The Alliance for Multi-campus, Inclusive Graduate Admissions (AMIGA) is a collaboration with UCLA and the University of Southern California on a grant supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant brings together faculty from select graduate programs and groups to develop holistic review for graduate admissions in a final total of eight humanities and humanistic social science graduate programs at each UC campus. Holistic review considers a wide range of applicant attributes and skills, in addition to other academic measures.

For the AMIGA project, faculty development modules on inclusive graduate admissions have been developed and delivered through faculty-training-faculty  sessions.  AMIGA leadership are also hosting two forums to disseminate inclusive graduate education scholarship and practices over the 4.5 years of the grant. The first AMIGA Forum was held in October 2018 and focused on participating faculty and campuses. For the second AMIGA Forum, that will be held in 2021, representatives from all 10 UC campuses will be invited to participate.

For more information about the project, please see the AMIGA website or contact project director and Co-PI, Dr. Josephine Moreno, Graduate Diversity officer.

The UC-HBCU Initiative

The UC-HBCU Initiative is a program offered by the University of California Office of the President (UCOP).  The program connects faculty and undergraduate scholars at both UC (University of California) and HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) campuses. Through faculty-guided summer programs undergraduates learn how to conduct research and develop professional skills and knowledge  of graduate school in a variety of academic disciplines.  A goal of the program is to increase the pool of talented, competitive, Black and African American students who apply to and pursue graduate degrees and professional training at one of our ten UC campuses. Learn more about UC-HBCU program by visiting the University of California website.

Envision UC Davis

Envision UC Davis is a program aimed at creating a more diverse and talented workforce at UC Davis, in the State of California, and the nation. Participants learn about the graduate programs at UC Davis, engage with current graduate students and faculty, Receive helpful tips about the graduate school application process. Accommodations, meals, and transportation subsidies will be provided for all accepted participants. The program was launched by Chancellor Gary S. May in spring 2018.

Learn more about Envision UC Davis by visiting the Envision UC Davis website.


Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Support

Competitive Edge Summer Bridge Program

The UC Davis Competitive Edge summer bridge program is an eight-week “early start” research and professional development program for selected incoming graduate students that will take place Monday, July 19-Friday, September 10, 2021. Competitive Edge is motivated by the belief that a diverse graduate student body enhances the quality of the educational experience for all students. Tied directly to UC Davis' strategic plan To Boldly Go, Competitive Edge works towards fulfilling our mission to be fully inclusive and supportive of all students.

This program is entirely virtual for 2021.

UC Davis Competitive Edge participants will engage in a full suite of activities designed to enhance your acclimation to and potential for success in graduate school. This includes weekly seminars that provide:

  • Advanced introduction to UC Davis faculty
  • Advanced introduction to key UC Davis campus resources
  • Relocation support
  • Professional development workshops
  • Grant writing & development
  • Early mentorship from UC Davis faculty and peer mentors
  • A community-building and wellness activities 
  • Summer stipend of $4,000

PROGRAM DATES: July 19-September 10, 2021

Click Here to Apply


First Year Graduate Student Learning Community

The aim of First Year Graduate Student Learning Community (FYGSLC) program is to establish an environment at UC Davis that promotes the seamless transition of first year graduate students from marginalized communities into doctoral programs. Students will participate in a biweekly seminar that unmasks the "hidden curriculum" of graduate school, receive enhanced, cross disciplinary mentoring, and will be encouraged to engage in additional social development activities to build community within the cohort. 

*Applications for this program is now closed.


Virtual Community Dinners


The goal of the biweekly Community Dinners is to engage in social interactions in an effort to make UC Davis feel more like home. Specifically, the environment is relaxed and inviting and meant to be an opportunity for students to rejuvenate and build lasting connections.

The Community Dinners happen on Tuesdays biweekly, starting again in spring: Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 5:30 pm.

Register Now


First-Gen Grads Peer Mentoring Program

We know that this has been a difficult year and we would like to offer peer mentoring to support your progress, grow your network with other graduate students and prepare to return to in-person instruction and meetings. Peer Mentors will hone their mentoring and communication skills learning best practices from campus experts.

The 2021 First-Gen Peer Mentoring Program will kick off with meet ups and mentee and mentor training. You will also learn from faculty led workshops and social activities to meet other graduate students. The First-Gen Grads Peer Mentoring Program builds an interdisciplinary community of graduate students at UC Davis.  We have plans for activities through August 2021.

Students with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ and racially marginalized graduate students are underrepresented in academia and experience similar challenges as First-Gen students in higher education.

Mentee Applicants

  • Master’s students currently taking courses 
  • Doctoral students who are pre-candidacy 

Mentor Applicants

  • Master’s students in the final year of their program
  • Doctoral students who have advanced  


 Application deadline: March 25th, 2021

Participant matches will be announced the first week of April.

Applications are now closed. Please check back in the fall for more updated information.