Preparing underrepresented students of color for doctoral success: The role of undergraduate institutions

Valerie Lundy-Wagner, Julie Vultaggio, Marybeth Gasman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Since the late 1980s, there has been a significant increase in the number of doctoral degrees con-ferred upon underrepresented minority (URM) students. However, White students still account for the vast majority - Approximately 80 percent - of all doctoral degrees conferred in the United States. As education stakeholders seek to diversify the professoriate, an updated examination of the baccalaureate origins of successful URM students is warranted to improve our understanding of where they are best prepared for doctoral degree programs. We used data from the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to identify the baccalaureate origins of African American, Latina/o, and Asian/Pacific Islander stu-dents who received doctoral degrees between 1995 and 2005, distinguishing the top ten producing institutions for each racial/ethnic group. Using extant research, we then identified and examined institutional characteristics of those top ten producers. Findings both confirm and build upon past research showing that institutional char-acteristics such as sector, racial/ethnic composition, selectivity, and geographic location matter in terms of producing successful URM doctoral students. The implications of the findings are dis-cussed and suggestions for future re-search are presented for institutions that wish to recruit and retain URM students to their doctoral degree programs. Preparing Underrepresented Students of Color for Doctoral Success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-172
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Doctoral Studies
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


  • Baccalaureate origins
  • Minority-serving institutions
  • Underrepresented minority


Dive into the research topics of 'Preparing underrepresented students of color for doctoral success: The role of undergraduate institutions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this