Brown CS PhD Students Help Underrepresented Candidates Apply To CS PhD Programs


Click the links that follow for more news about recent accomplishments by our students, diversity and inclusion at Brown CS, and our Socially Responsible Computing program.

Applying to a doctoral program can be challenging for anyone, and for applicants from historically underrepresented groups (HUGs) who may not have adequate access to research experiences or mentors, it can be especially daunting. It’s thought to be a considerable contributor to the lack of diversity in computer science departments nationwide.

In response, several PhD students from Brown CS have put together a pilot Application Feedback Program for Underrepresented Applicants. It’s an attempt to help address that lack of diversity by putting helpful application resources at the fingertips of applicants from these groups, sharing a variety of best practices and lessons learned.  

Maybe even more valuably, the program also provides extensive mentorship opportunities. They include possibilities such as one-on-one Zoom calls with applicants, graduate student and faculty panels, feedback on statements of purpose and application materials, and answering any questions that applicants may have about the PhD application process.

Since this year has seen a range of organisations and universities offering a variety of support programs for applicants from HUGs in CS, the students also compiled a list of them at the site above to provide easy access. 

“This makes for a very different application process,” say Kweku Kwegyir-Aggrey and Roma Patel, two of the students behind the pilot, “and it’s the kind of thing we wish had been available when we applied. Taking part in our program doesn’t guarantee admission, but we believe that qualified mentorship and ongoing support will prove to be a deciding factor for students from historically underrepresented groups.”

For more information, click the link that follows to contact Brown CS Communication Outreach Specialist Jesse C. Polhemus.