- Harvard University Press
Inside Graduate Admissions: Merit, Diversity, and Faculty Gatekeeping
- Julie R Posselt
- Harvard University Press
- 9.2 X 6.1 X 0.7 inches
- 0.6 pounds
- Education > Administration - Higher
How does graduate admissions work? Who does the system work for, and who falls through its cracks? More people than ever seek graduate degrees, but little has been written about who gets in and why. Drawing on firsthand observations of admission committees and interviews with faculty in 10 top-ranked doctoral programs in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, education professor Julie Posselt pulls back the curtain on a process usually conducted in secret.
Politicians, judges, journalists, parents and prospective students subject the admissions policies of undergraduate colleges and professional schools to considerable scrutiny, with much public debate over appropriate criteria. But the question of who gets into Ph.D. programs has by comparison escaped much discussion. That may change with the publication of Inside Graduate Admissions...While the departments reviewed in the book remain secret, the general process used by elite departments would now appear to be more open as a result of Posselt's book.
--Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed
Revealing...Provide[s] clear, consistent insights into what admissions committees look for.
--Beryl Lieff Benderly, Science
Dr. Julie Posselt is an Associate Professor of higher education in the USC Rossier School of Education and was a 2015-2017 National Academy of Education/ Spencer Foundation postdoctoral research fellow. Rooted in sociological and organizational theory, her research program uses mixed methods to examine institutionalized inequalities in higher education and organizational efforts aimed at reducing inequities and encouraging diversity. She focuses on selective sectors of higher education— graduate education, STEM fields, and elite undergraduate institutions—where longstanding practices and cultural norms are being negotiated to better identify talent and educate students in a changing society. She was the recipient of the 2018 American Educational Research Association’s Early Career Award and the 2017 Association for the Study of Higher Education’s Early Career/ Promising Scholar Award.
Her book, Inside Graduate Admissions: Merit, Diversity, and Faculty Gatekeeping (2016, Harvard University Press), was based on an award-winning ethnographic study of faculty judgment in 10 highly ranked doctoral programs in three universities. This work has led to thriving research-practice partnerships with universities, disciplinary societies, graduate schools & programs, and other associations that are re-examining how we evaluate students and scholars for key academic opportunities— and support those who are in the system. Partners include the University of California, American Physics Society, and the Council of Graduate Schools.
Her current scholarship, funded by three grants from the National Science Foundation and one from the Mellon Foundation, examines movements for equity and inclusion in graduate education and the humanistic and physical science disciplines. Posselt recently completed a National Academy of Education postdoctoral fellowship for the first national study of graduate student mental health. This concurrent mixed methods project identified factors associated with depression and anxiety; investigated the roles of discrimination, competitiveness, and faculty support in graduate student wellbeing; and measures disparities within and across academic disciplines.
She has published research in the American Educational Research Journal, Annual Review of Sociology, Research in Higher Education, Journal of Higher Education, Teachers College Record, Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, among others. Her work has been highlighted in Science, The Atlantic, New York Times, Slate, Times Higher Education (UK), Insider Higher Ed, among others. She is a member of the Journal of Higher Education’s and Journal of Diversity in Higher Education's editorial review boards, and is program chair for the 2019 Sociology of Education Association meeting.
Posselt earned her PhD from the University of Michigan.
Source: University of Southern California
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