Ph.D. Resources for Minority Students Attending Grad School

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Updated: March 17, 2024, Reading time: 20 minutes

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Minority students are students who come from an ethnicity or race other than Caucasians, commonly known as whites. Their population on college and university campuses is on the rise!

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reveals that the overall percentage of minority students admitted to college after completing high school has been on the rise since 2000. In particular, the enrollment of Asian and Hispanic learners grew higher in 2016 than in the years 2000 and 2003.

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The overall post-baccalaureate enrollment rate for Hispanic students is more than twice the growth between 2000 and 2016, with a 134% increase from 111,000 students to 260,000.

Similar growth has been highlighted among Black post-baccalaureate enrollment, indicating a 100% increase, from 181,000 to 363,000 students. It indicates that the college enrollment of minority students composed of Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics is increasing in contrast to their white peers.

Factors such as globalization, the number of minority-friendly degree programs, diversity in higher education, and minority student preparation are possible key players in these statistics. With the appropriate and up-to-date resources and tools, minority students in doctorate programs can succeed in post-secondary education, just like their white colleagues!

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Minority Students in A Nutshell

For purposes of identification and proper classification, a person is considered a minority student if he or she is either:

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African American/Black

The student is having ancestries in any of the black racial groups in the African continent.

Asian American

The student is from Southeast Asia, the Far East, Pacific Islands (Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia, and Hawaii), and the Indian Sub-Continent (including Pakistan).

Hispanic American

A student of Portuguese or Spanish culture with roots in Central or South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean Islands.

Native American

The student is a member of a state or federally recognized Indian tribe or whose grandparents and parents have such association. It includes the native people of Alaska.

Resources for Minority Students

In an initiative to advocate diversity, Ph.D. resources for minority students are becoming more accessible and easier to find.

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Admission in doctorate programs by ethnic minority learners has generally trailed behind the average. On the contrary, the success difference has become narrower. For instance, the NCES highlights that currently, more than one-fourth of Ph.D. students are part of the underrepresented minority groups.

The goal of diversity in doctorate studies has baffled the country for several decades. The diversity regulations have cultivated significant efforts and initiatives from academic institutions, philanthropists, and professional groups to recognize a higher number of women and students from minority groups.

Prospective minority students who are planning to pursue a graduate program can enjoy a wide variety of resources ranging from scholarship programs to financial aid to career and networking resources. Because several minority students may be the first in the family to attend a graduate program, comprehensive and first-generation information has been provided.

Scholarships and Fellowships

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AERA Minority Dissertation Fellowship in Education Research

The program grants numerous funds to learners to support writing and research of a supervised doctorate thesis at an accredited college or university.

It advocates representatives of historically underrepresented communities, including Pacific Islanders, Latinos, Hispanics, Asians, American Indians, and African Americans.

AICPA Fellowships for Minority Doctoral Students

The fellowship program grants $12,000 to advocate Minority CPAs that serve as role models for minority learners in the classroom and other settings that highlight the potential to become accounting professors. It paves the way for classroom diversity within CPA doctoral programs.

American Association of University Women

The American Association of University Women is hailed as one of the most reliable sources of funding for female graduate students. During the 2018 to 2019 school year, the association granted $3.9M to 250 outstanding non-profits and women.

Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund

The Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund offers scholarship programs to qualified students who belong to low-income or poverty-level families. These are the first in their families to enroll in college, representing the underserved communities.

Asian Pacific Fund

Asian Pacific Fund offers numerous scholarship programs every academic year for a total of $1,000 to Pacific Islanders or Asian Americans enrolling in a U.S.-based academic institution for a doctorate program in Economics.

One of these scholarships is the Hsiao Memorial Economics Scholarship. These scholarship programs give priority to doctorate students of Chinese origins.

CHCI Graduate Fellowship Program

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute delivers a graduate fellowship program for pre-doctorate learners pursuing to make an impact and learn more in public policy. Candidates will receive a gross stipend worth $27,500 for a 9-month fellowship program in Washington, District of Columbia.

Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program

Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program is facilitated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Annually, it offers four doctorate grants for minority students and women who aren’t able to finance for Ph.D. studies in maritime archaeology, ecology, marine biology, oceanography, and other related studies.

Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships

The Ford Foundation Fellowship Program advocates applicants that currently obtain legal U.S. status. It includes explicitly those with fortification under the DACA program. This program provides funding to Ph.D. candidates at accredited colleges and universities, including for-profit schools.

Fulbright Scholar Program

The global scholarship program provides opportunities for 155 nations around the world. The program delivers opportunities for diverse international students to study in the United States and for diverse American students to travel and study abroad. It has increased global awareness and leadership for international collaboration.

Gates Millennium Foundation

The Gates Scholarship will provide aid to 300 applicants from at least one of these minority groups: Hispanic American, Asian & Pacific Islander American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and African American.

The program can fill the difference between Pell Grants and all other financial aid to supplement the entire costs of graduate education.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Hispanic Scholarship Fund provides $500 to $5,000 worth of grants based on need. Qualified applicants are high school and college learners of Hispanic origins that meet the academic achievement requirements for GPA, eligible residents of the country, and students that are enrolled in an accredited academic institution.

Jackie Robinson Foundation

Jackie Robinson Foundation offers fellowships and scholarship programs and provides additional support services through the foundation’s “42 Strategies for Success” curriculum as well as job placement and mentoring programs.

KSEA-KUSCO Scholarships for Graduate Students

The Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association collaborates with the Korea-U.S. Science Corporation Center each year to grant 20 scholarships worth $1,500 each to graduate learners of Korean origins who are pursuing a master’s or doctorate program.

Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship

Administered by Tyler Technologies, the Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship is provided with a total of $8,000 per year through the Government Finance Officers Association. It offers scholarships to outstanding minority students pursuing master’s or doctorate programs and planning for a career in government finance.

NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

This program provides 35 fellowship programs of $27,500 to advocate dissertations that offer fresh perspectives to informal or formal education anywhere on the planet. The objective is to inspire numerous scholars and disciplines to undertake an academic improvement research project.

National GEM Consortium Ph.D. in Science Scholarship

The National GEM Consortium provides Ph.D. Science Scholarship programs to minority students enrolling in 1st year of doctorate education in any natural science field of studies such as computer science, biology, mathematics, earth science, physics, and chemistry.

Candidates are provided with full tuition coverage at a GEM academic institution member, paid summer internship, and $16,000 living compensation.

Poise Foundation Post-Secondary Scholarships

These scholarship programs are aimed toward assisting African-Americans who need finances for their post-secondary education. The candidates should, however, meet a set of criteria that include monetary need or being a descendant of slaves.

Predoctoral Fellowship in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

The American Psychological Association’s Predoctoral Fellowship in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services provides preference to Ph.D. students who belong to minority groups such as Pacific Islander, Hispanic, Asian American, American Indian, Alaskan Native, and African American.

Candidates will receive network collaborations, dissertation support, ancillary training, and three years of funding.

SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program

The Southern Regional Education Board Doctoral Scholarship Programs provide a $20,000 yearly stipend to qualified racial minority students enrolled in a full-time and campus-based doctorate program at an accredited college or university in the U.S.

Financial Assistance Resources

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U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce

Aimed at advocating the common interests of Asian-American professional organizations and businesses, the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce also offers college internship and scholarship programs to foster mentorship and leadership among Asian students and companies.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

Advocating the accessiblity of education as one of its primary endeavors, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People strives to achieve equality for everyone in different areas of society.

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

The membership of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association is comprised of law students and professionals, ranging from law school professors to lawyers to judges.

Minority Student Achievement Network

The Minority Student Achievement Network is an agreement of school districts committed to removing academic inequalities in colleges and universities. As part of its goal, it provides a comprehensive listing of scholarship programs for minority students.

Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund is a civil rights association that influences the legal system to enhance the socio-economic and political status of Latinos in the U.S. It also offers numerous scholarship programs to Latino students.

Hispanic Education Association

The mission and goal of the Hispanic Education Association are to administer professional growth and educational achievement for Hispanic students.

Federal Student Aid

The Federal Student Aid is the country’s one-stop-shop for everything related to financial aid programs. It is managed by the U.S. Department of Education.


Fastweb! has one of the most detailed listings of scholarship programs for students, including members of the minority groups. Its website is a portal that matches prospective students to scholarship opportunities that are suitable for them.

American Indian College Fund

The American Indian College Fund is a not-for-profit organization. It offers scholarship programs and other forms of educational support.

American Bar Association

The American Bar Association advocates internal groups, including one that represents the minority law student communities around the country. It is the premier association for lawyers in the U.S.

Financial Aid – Women of Color in Doctorate Programs

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American Dissertation Fellowship

This fellowship program offers a generous amount between $6,000 to $30,000 to assist women of color in obtaining the final year of their doctorate programs.

Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship

Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship program is a product of the collaborative efforts of the National Marine Sanctuaries and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It offers scholarships to female minority students pursuing education in oceanography, maritime archaeology, marine biology, and related disciplines.

Faculty for the Future Scholarship

The Schlumberger Foundation offers a maximum of $50,000 annually to women of color from emerging or developing economies who are completing doctorate education in STEM or STEM-related disciplines.

The Laurels Fund Scholarship

The Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting presents women of color with scholarship opportunities that award up to $5,000 for their doctoral studies in Accounting. Qualified applicants must submit a resume or CV, a statement of objectives and goals, two letters of reference, and copies of any published articles.

The National Association of Black Journalists

This association offers a yearly scholarship program of $3,000 to a qualified African American or Black woman in her final year of a doctorate program related to journalism, communication, or any related discipline.

Women of Color Scholars Program

This scholarship program is sponsored by the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. It provides this award to women of color pursuing doctorate education in any field of study. To qualify, an applicant must be an official member of the Methodist church for at least one year at the time of application.

Agencies, Publications, and Organizations

5 Facts About Latinos and Education

Diverse group of people high fiving each other while standing in a huddle together

Latino study trends represent an overall positive perspective of higher high school completion rates and lesser out-of-school rates. Education and college enrollment have a good reputation among the Latino public sentiment.

The educational pattern is combined with low rates of four-year admission, high enrollment in community colleges, low usage of student loans, and reduced baccalaureate completion rates.

Certificates and Degrees Conferred by Race/Ethnicity

The NCES report describes the trend in African American completion of doctorate degrees over the past years, plus the year-to-date measure. The growth in Hispanic and Black educational attainment has been steady and dramatic.

Educational Attainment

The census reports of educational attainment in the country highlight the trend in educational attainment among minority students. The report describes some supplemental information, such as the fact that the number of native-born doctorates is lesser than the number of foreign-born doctorates.

Who Earns A Doctorate

The report describes the increase in doctorate education in underrepresented minority groups. The number of African American or Black doctorate students grew by 31% while the number of Hispanic doctorates rose by 71% over the past ten years.

Advocacy & Education

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American Council on Education

The American Council on Education aims to address the challenges surrounding equal opportunities for minority students and underrepresented communities in U.S. institutions of higher learning.

American Indian Higher Education Consortium

Unified through the consortium, the United States’ 38 tribal colleges and universities aim to address regulations of American Indian post-secondary education.

Demos: Higher Education

Demos, a public policy association committed to equality, is integrated with a series of publications dedicated to Higher Education. It aims to discuss topics such as financial security by ethnicity, types of loans and risks, comprehensive student debt, and college education without debt.

Techstars Foundation

Techstars Foundation aims to develop more diversity in the tech entrepreneur setting through partnerships with individuals, corporations, and non-profits. It intends to offer sponsorship programs, scholarships, and grants.

Thurgood Marshall College Fund

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund is a platform for historically black colleges and universities and their student communities. It provides advocacy programs, talent outsourcing, and scholarship opportunities for minority students.

Young Invincibles

Young Invincibles encourages people to help young individuals have a more excellent voice in the world of politics and foster the economic well-being of the generation. One mission of the group is advocating diversity and higher education – one of the four primary issues they address.

Community Resources

Female College Student Using Computer In Classroom

Alpha Pi Omega

Alpha Pi Omega is an American-Indian sorority that has 21 chapters across the country. One of the sorority’s goals is the preservation of the members’ Native American legacy.

American Indian Student Association

While there is no administrated national AISA, numerous campuses across the country have an organization with a similar name. The American Indian Student Association aims to preserve its heritage and educate other student groups about it.


Capoeira is an African-Brazilian martial art that integrates acrobatics, music, and dance. Students can discover their cultural heritage while benefiting from the fitness perspective. It is also among the country’s most popular clubs serving minority students, especially in the Hispanic and Latino communities.

League of United Latin American Citizens

League of United Latin American Citizens campus organizations replicate the national association’s mission of obtaining equal education in Latino communities. The organization facilitates a yearly youth conference program during the Spring season.

Multicultural Student Union

This student organization is not affiliated with the primary Student Union. Organizations in numerous higher education institutions around the country share this name. This group fosters professional development and heritage sharing among minority student communities.

National Black Student Union

The National Black Student Union works to develop black undergraduates’ college experience. It has 23 collegiate members across the country.

National Pan-Hellenic Council

The National Pan-Hellenic Council is a group of historically minority-based Greek fraternities and sororities. This organization aims to deliver a sense of camaraderie, pay it forward to the community, and strive for academic achievement.

National Society of Black Engineers

Black undergraduates and graduates in the engineering field are eligible for the student membership alternative of the NSBE. The organization helps with college preparation and facilitation of events, networking opportunities, and scholarship programs.

The Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science

Simply called SACNAS, the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science chapters advocate the education of specific cultural groups to prepare them for professional STEM career pathways.

National Resources

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College Access Challenge Grant Program

The College Access Challenge Grant Program of the DOE includes preparing low-income students for success in post-secondary education. It offers career preparation, student loan assistance, FAFSA assistance, and financial preparation.

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities

Members of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities obtain services like access to events and conferences, career advancement and development, exchange student programs, internships, and scholarship programs. It represents over 470 colleges in Latin America, Puerto Rico, Spain, and the U.S.

Hispanic-Serving Institutions

Hispanic-Serving Institutions are accredited higher education facilities that have a Hispanic population of 25% or more. They seek to make successful post-secondary studies a reality for Hispanic students.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Historically Black Colleges and Universities are accredited universities across the U.S. that offer opportunities for education to students of different ethnicities. They also offer programs that benefit the African-American communities.

National Indian Education Association

Student members of the National Indian Education Association take advantage of community tools and resources dedicated to helping Indian students succeed in doctorate studies through career prep resources and scholarship programs.

Office of Post-Secondary Education – Programs

This is a section of the U.S. Department of Education that lists colleges and programs related to Asians, Blacks, Native Americans, and other minority students’ needs and passions.

Accommodation, Food, and Living

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Everyone in the United States who requires assistance for a wide range of services, including food, housing, nutrition, and utilities, can search for their local 2-1-1 companies and verify if they can qualify for assistance.

American Campus Communities

Prospective graduates can explore off-campus living at a wide range of price points by browsing the ACC listings for local apartment catalogs, specifically catering to college student communities.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid

FAFSA is a need-based financial assistance program. If eligible students receive FAFSA assistance, that stipend can be utilized for food and accommodation expenses. Any cash left can be used to settle tuition fees and educational expenses.

Feeding America

Prospective minority student graduates can browse through a nationwide database of community food banks to find a nearby location. It advocates fighting hunger in the country by providing free meals to qualified beneficiaries.

Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Education is a need-based grant. It distributes financial resources based partially on accommodation and living costs aside from schooling-related expenses.

Student Support Services Program

Another type of federal grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education is the Student Support Services Program that can be integrated with the Pell Grant. This program helps students in all academic revenues. It also offers temporary accommodation to homeless or low-income minority students during semester breaks. is a platform that connects college students with cheap housing alternatives instead of rental apartments and homes. Students can browse for subletting results in their chosen location without fees.

United Negro College Fund College Readiness

The UNCF offers numerous scholarship programs for black students. They also offer college readiness tools and resources that discuss financial education and procedures for applying for financial aid.

Career and Networking Resources

Group Of College Students In Science Class With Experiment

Asian American Journalists Association

The Asian American Journalists Association advocates newsroom diversity by involving Pacific Islander and Asian-American journalists with career opportunities in the industry.


INROADS offers employment and educational support to student achievers, including services such as workforce solutions, mentoring sessions, paid internship opportunities, and coaching programs. Its population is composed of 80% first-generation college students.

Minorities in Media Connect

Creatives, journalists, and marketing professionals of color who are mid-level professionals or beyond can explore leadership, and advanced roles in the field through this association.

NAACP Job Finder

This tool helps minority students explore career opportunities through companies and employers who value diversity. It also facilitates a wide range of conferences and networking events.

National Association of Asian American Professionals

The National Association of Asian American Professionals hosts virtual training programs, conferences, job listings, and job fairs, as well as links to career resource groups. It is composed of members who are career- and community-oriented.

National Black MBA Association

Despite its official name, the National Black MBA Association isn’t restricted to black members with MBA programs. It advocates career development through career resources, training, conferences, and networking events.

National Congress of American Indians

As the country’s largest and oldest American Indian and Alaskan Native association, the National Congress of American Indians highlights the issues impacting natives. The association is also a useful resource that features career listings, scholarship programs, internship opportunities, and fellowships.

National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives

The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives or NOBLE links blacks in law enforcement to job opportunities, online training centers, networking opportunities, events, and training conferences.

Professional Diversity Network

Professional Diversity Network is developed to meet the demands of employers pursuing diversity in the workplace. It has seven elements, including those specifically designed for Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics.

Resources – Women of Color in Doctorate Programs

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Tips for Women of Color Navigating Doctorate Programs

Disorient Co offers essential tips and strategies for women of color, exploring an ideal university setting where they can thrive once admitted to a specific doctorate program.

Association of Black Women Physicians

Since 1982, the Association of Black Women Physicians has facilitated a platform for black women physicians to pay it forward to their communities. The association provides sister-to-sister advocacy, scholarship programs, and mentoring opportunities.

Black Ph.D. Network

This association works to inspire more women of color to complete doctorate studies by providing collaboration, networking, and support services. It also fosters more diversity within academic settings.

Sisters in the Dissertation House: A Dissertation Narrative

Women of color completing their doctorate programs and dissertation work go to Dr. Jennifer Bacon for practical advice and relevant insights. Dr. Bacon’s book “Sisters in the Dissertation House: A Dissertation Narrative” focuses on this subject.

The Stronger Our Voice, the Greater Impact We Might Force

Victoria Duran, a professor at the University of San Francisco, provides insightful information to students who are interested in mentorship through her “The Stronger Our Voice, the Greater Impact We Might Force” publication.

Optimizing Mentoring Programs for Women of Color

This comprehensive guide offers assessment tools for calculating the effectiveness of mentorship programs for women of color. It also offers insights on how to develop a successful program.

Public Leadership Education Network

Headquartered in Washington D.C., the mission of the Public Leadership Education Network is to inspire women in leadership positions and motivate them to legislate policy changes. Most members are doctorate students or degree holders, and 45% of them are women of color. Numerous mentorship programs and advocacies are also available in PLEN.


This not-for-profit organization works to match successful women of color with other women of color who are completing baccalaureate, master’s, and doctorate degrees. It aims to provide mentorship programs and support to students during their academic journey.

Susan La Flesche

A Smithsonian Magazine article describes the fascinating life of Susan La Flesche, the first Native American to complete a medical degree. It is an inspiring read for any woman of color who needs to overcome the challenges to pursue their graduate studies.

Women of Color Leadership Network

Developed in 1993 as a member of the Center for Women and Community at UMass Amherst, the Women of Color Leadership Network serves as an outstanding example of one of the numerous ways colleges and universities can advocate women of color on campus.

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