Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

The College of Arts and Sciences affirms that academic excellence depends upon recruiting and supporting a diverse population of faculty, staff and students to pursue innovative research, transformative teaching and learning, and engaged outreach.

Diversity and inclusion is everyone’s goal, everyone’s priority and to everyone’s benefit.

As perhaps the most expansive arts and sciences college in the country, we have the unique qualification — and the unique obligation — to address the complex issues related to fostering an inclusive and diverse community both inside and outside the academy.

Campus Pride Lists Ohio State as Top 25 LGBTQ-Friendly University

Campus Pride released its 2017 Best of the Best Top 25 LGBTQ-friendly Colleges and Universities. Ohio State was chosen as a top 25 LGBTQ-friendly university, receiving a 5-star rating, the highest rating awarded, for institutional commitment to LGBTQ-inclusive policy, program and practice. Browse the university’s report card.   

Building a Community of Scholars: A New, Bold Initiative  

In 2016, the college launched a multi-pronged initiative to achieve greater diversity in our professorial ranks, foster an inclusive university community, and promote research and teaching on topics central to race, ethnicity, gender, sex and disparities in modern society.

“Understanding Race, Ethnicity, Gender/Sex and Disparities in Modern Society Initiative to Promote Diversity” addresses three critical areas:

  • faculty cluster hiring
  • graduate student recruitment and retention
  • undergraduate preparation for graduate school

Whereas other diversity and inclusion programs focus only on faculty diversity, the College of Arts and Sciences takes and expanded approach by addressing the needs of minority students as undergraduates and as they advance into and through graduate school.

Faculty Cluster Hiring Initiative

The first strategy is cluster hiring with a hire in each of the eight departments in the division of social and behavioral sciences, where research and teaching on these topics are central.

The mission of the hiring activity is to hire diverse candidates conducting research on topics related to diversity. The new cluster will be part of a network of many established, committed professors to develop cross-disciplinary coordination to create a broad community needed to support, sustain and promote diversity and inclusion in the professorial ranks.

In August 2017, we will welcome the first wave of new faculty:     

  • Geography: Madhumita Dutta, assistant professor (social geographer)
  • Political Science: Christian Phillips, assistant professor (race and gender in politics)

Graduate Certificate Program

To enhance recruitment of underrepresented students at the graduate level, the college is developing a graduate certificate program to position these students for success. The 12-credit hour certificate will be available to graduate students matriculating in any area of study across campus, or as a stand-alone certificate for individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree. Achieving this certificate would demonstrate a student’s commitment to diversity in their career goals.

The graduate certificate program will begin enrollment in autumn 2018.

Undergraduate Bridge Program

The college will unveil a new Graduate School Preparation Program to assist our undergraduates with admission to and success in top-ranked graduate programs. This bridge program will help students identify what degrees and programs are best for them, prepare strong graduate school applications and provide course advising to ensure that they are well-equipped to succeed at the graduate level.

The bridge program will begin in autumn 2018.

In Support of Diversity

Program for Advancing in Scholarship and Service (PASS)

Arts and Sciences' Program for Advancing in Scholarship and Service (PASS) is a selective first-year academic learning community for arts and sciences students who have a shared interest in the academic, cultural, career and community benefits of diversity. PASS links you with your academic advisor, faculty, community and peers in ways that ensure your academic success and engagement.

Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program

The Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program supports underrepresented minority students pursuing degrees in chemistry, computer science; geosciences; life/biological sciences; mathematics; physics; and astronomy by providing them with experiences working with faculty in laboratory settings; introducing them to academic and professional resources; providing a strong foundation upon which program participants will succeed.

Sampling Advanced Mathematics for Minority Students (SAMMS)

The goal of the Sampling Advanced Mathematics for Minority Students (SAMMS) is to inspire undergraduate students from under-represented minorities to pursue graduate studies in STEM fields with an emphasis on graduate education in mathematics. The immersive mini-course program provides students with a “sample” experience similar to what they would have in an established graduate math program at a large state university.

Society of Women in Physics (SWiP)

The Society of Women in Physics (SWiP) is an undergraduate and graduate student academic club whose goal is to promote the engagement, career development and sense of community of young women in physics. SWiP hosts monthly meetings and networking events where lots of pizza and snacks are encouraged!

Momentum: Students with Disabilities in STEM

Momentum: Students with Disabilities in STEM, assists in the education and support of students with disabilities in STEM fields. Through student mentoring, student workshops, and by creating an open and positive student community where students feel encouraged, Momentum works to increase the number of students with disabilities successfully graduating.

Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM)

oSTEM aims to provide support for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight ally students by educating peers, organizing social events and connecting with professionals in industry. For more information on oSTEM, contact the club at

Community of Appalachian Student Leaders (CASL)

CASL connects and engages students from the Appalachian region — many, first-generation students  — with student, faculty and staff mentors from the region while working towards developing students’ academic, professional and leadership skills. 

Collaborative to Advance Equity Through Research

Wendy Smooth, associate professor, women’s, gender and sexuality studies, is leading Ohio State’s participation in a national initiative to increase research on women and girls of color. Ohio State is a member institution of the Collaborative to Advance Equity through Research, established in 2015 to increase understanding and highlight the status of women and girls of color — a growing demographic in the United States that remains underrepresented in academic research.


The Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) is an organization of scientists dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanic and Native American scientists — from college students to professionals — to attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in science. The Arts and Sciences partners with SACNAS to provide mentoring, outreach and research-focused workshops.

MS to PhD Bridge Program in Physics

Established in 2012 — with unanimous support of department faculty and staff — the goal of the program is to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in STEM PhD programs. The Bridge Program was one of the first two such programs directly supported by the American Physical Society and the NSF. Since the Bridge Program’s inception, the physics graduate program has increased the diversity of its students from less than 3 to 21 percent.

The ASL Club

The American Sign Language Club, started in 2004, is comprised of students, staff, faculty and members of the deaf community. The group has meetings, events and socials during the school year. The club is involved with the local deaf community and encourages members to increase their knowledge of ASL and the deaf community.  

Humanities and Summer Sciences Cognitive Institute

The Center for Cognitive and Brain Sciences is a proud co-sponsor of the annual Humanities and Cognitive Sciences High School Summer Institute in partnership with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and we place a great emphasis on ensuring a socioeconomically and culturally diverse class. This week-long day camp provides a critical thinking forum for rising high school students to explore critical questions at the intersection of the humanities and cognitive sciences.

Black Advertising Strategic Communication Association (BASCA)

BASCA is a partnership between students, faculty and professionals intended to develop and prepare Black students for careers in advertising and strategic communication.

Students interested in attending BASCA may come to the meetings. However, to be considered a member they must pay their membership dues by the deadlines in the Fall and Spring semester. The Dues are $20 and cover the annual trip, food for meetings, eligibility to vote, eligibility to run for an E Board position and opportunities to travel around Columbus.

BASCA meets biweekly on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. at 242 W. 18th Ave Columbus, OH 43210.

For questions about BASCA membership or meetings contact the Advisor of BASCA, Dr. Osei Appiah or Tracey Lindsay, BASCA Secretary.

More information about BASCA can be found on its website at and by following BASCA OSU on Twitter.

Ohio State Faculty Outreach, Recruitment and Collaboration (FORC)

Underrepresented groups (URGs)-serving institutions are largely teaching-intensive, and they often lack budgets to invite researchers from research-intensive institutions to give seminars. Thus, they rely upon departmental faculty and those from nearby institutions to participate in their seminar series. As a result, students at SoC-serving institutions are primarily exposed to research and educational opportunities that are on campus or in these nearby institutions, and large institutions like OSU are easily overlooked when these students are considering higher education options.

The OSU Faculty Outreach, Recruitment and Collaboration (FORC) Program seeks to provide an essential bridge between OSU STEM departments and their counterparts at higher education institutions largely serving populations of URGs. The program accomplishes this by supporting highly research-productive OSU STEM faculty to travel to these institutions to give science talks and interact with faculty and students in STEM departments at URG-serving institutions to work towards building a pipeline of URGs undergraduates into OSU STEM summer research and graduate degree programs, as well as faculty-driven collaborations between OSU STEM departments and their counterparts at URG-serving institutions.

The Howard-OSU Undergraduate Summer Experience (HOUSE)

The National Science Foundation recently awarded Dr. Zakee Sabree a major grant (Bacteria-mediated gut development and symbiont genome evolution in an invertebrate, $509K total award). This award will support two Howard University (a historically Black university and Dr. Sabree’s alma mater) undergraduate students to participate in Dr. Sabree’s research at OSU for 9 weeks the next two/three/four summers. 

Dr. Sabree will provide the Howard undergraduates with meaningful research experience and the opportunity to consider pursuit of a graduate degree, hopefully at OSU. Mentoring undergraduate students well in the early stages of a research program is a time-consuming, yet professionally rewarding experience. Dr. Sabree’s willingness and enthusiasm for such mentoring of Howard University students speaks both to his skills and abilities as a teacher and his commitment to our college’s outreach and diversity goals.

National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE)

NOBCChE at The Ohio State University (OSU) is committed to the discovery, transmittal and application of knowledge in the fields of science and engineering. The mission of NOBCChE at OSU therefore is to build an eminent community of scientists and engineers by increasing the number and retention rates of minorities in these fields on the OSU campus. NOBCChE at OSU will achieve its mission through diverse programs designed to foster professional and social development and encourage students to pursue careers in science and technical fields. Also NOBCChE at OSU is focused on helping to create a conducive atmosphere for minority students to prosper. To this end, NOBCChE at OSU will establish educational partnerships with other organizations on campus, municipalities, businesses, industries, other institutions and organizations in the public and private sectors.

For more information, please click here.

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Molecular Biology

The departments of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and the Division of Biochemistry at the Ohio State University will host an REU program in Molecular Biology sponsored by The National Science Foundation during the summer of 2018.

This program provides a cohesive framework for undergraduate research, focusing on the use of model organisms and molecular biology techniques to address fundamental questions in biology, while preparing students for successful graduate study in molecular life sciences.

Since 1987, the National Science Foundation has sponsored the annual Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, supporting underrepresented minority students in STEM and institutions offering limited research opportunities. Top universities compete to host these REUs, including Ohio State, which has been a host since 2006, established by molecular geneticist Amanda Simcox and biochemist Venkat Gopalan.

Fore more information on the program, click here.