Graduate Diversity & Inclusion


The University of California, Merced is dedicated to actively recruiting and retaining a graduate student body that brings together individuals from various backgrounds and life experiences.

Diversity among students, faculty, and staff is critical to the educational and research enterprises of our University, which rely on a wide range of perspectives to nurture innovation and creativity across various disciplines.

We strive to create the most inclusive environment possible and welcome everyone who aspires to contribute to higher education and the advancement of knowledge.

News & Events

In 2015, UC Merced was recognized by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics as one of 150 public and private institutions that have made significant commitments to the nation's Hispanic population. 

Campus Resources & Allies

Additional Student Resources

Policies, Initiatives & Information

Diversity Forums, Societies, and Conferences

















In March 2016, UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland launched the Chancellor’s Dialogue on Diversity and Interdisciplinarity, a continuing series of lectures that will bring leading scholars to campus to discuss pressing issues confronting higher education today. At UC Merced, we value inclusion of multiple perspectives in all we do—in our interdisciplinary scholarship and in our strong commitment to diversity and inclusion among our students and faculty and staff members.

The Chancellor’s Dialogue is designed to explicitly link these core values through a series of conversations  — among administration, faculty, students, and community members — as well as public lectures. 

See more information on the talk and related events here.

  • Carlos Castillo-Chavez | March 17, 2016

    Dr. Carlos Castillo-Chavez is a Regents Professor and a Joaquin Bustoz Jr. Professor of Mathematical Biology at Arizona State University who has co-authored over 200 publications. His 38 PhD students include 18 women, 23 from US underrepresented groups and 6 from Latin America. In addition, he has mentored over 25 postdoctoral students and been a research co-mentor to over 400 undergraduates.

    Recognitions of his work include: three White House Awards (1992,1997, and 2011), the 12th American Mathematical Society Distinguished Public Service Award in 2010, and the 2007 AAAS Mentor award. He is a fellow of the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science), SIAM (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics), AMS (American Mathematical Society), and ACE (American College of Epidemiology).

    Dr. Castillo-Chavez has held honorary Professorships at Xi’an Jiatong University in China, the Universidad de Belgrano in Argentina and East Tennessee State University. Past appointments include a Stanislaw M. Ulam Distinguished Scholar at Los Alamos National Laboratory, a Cátedra Patrimonial at UNAM in México, and a Martin Luther King Jr. Professorship at MIT.

    He is a member of the Board of Higher Education at the National Academy of Sciences (2009-2015) and serves in President Barack Obama's Committee on the National Medal of Science (2010-2015). He is 17th recipient of the SIAM Prize for Distinguished Service to the Profession (2015) and the inaugural recipient of the Dr. William Yslas Outstanding STEM Award, by Victoria Foundation Award and co-sponsored by the Pasqua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona (2015).

The Graduate Dean's Advisory Council on Diversity is dedicated to enhancing and strengthening a culture of open inquiry, pluralism, mutual respect, and engagement among — and for — UC Merced graduate students through the work of the council itself and through the active advisement of the Dean.

See the inaugural (Spring 2017) issue of D.I.C.E., the newsletter of the Graduate Dean's Advisory Council on Diversity here.

  • Advise on policies, practices, and initiatives that enhance and promote an environment supportive of diversity and inclusivity in graduate education, consistent with the UC Merced Principles of Community
  • Assist with the recruitment and retention of a diverse graduate student population, including planning for and participation in events such as Graduate Visitation Weekend and the Chancellor’s Dialogue on Diversity and Interdisciplinarity
  • Provide guidance to encourage community collaborations that support the intellectual and research interests of the university in the area of diversity and inclusion
2016-2017 Council Members
Jasmine Armstrong - Interdisciplinary Humanities
Ashley Baker- Psychological Sciences
Danielle Bermudez - Interdisciplinary Humanities
Johannes Brust - Applied Mathematics
Patricia Cabral - Psychological Sciences
Geraldy Eisman - Psychological Sciences
Rachel Hatano - Biological Engineering and Small-Scale Technologies
James Kupihea - Environmental Systems
Jamin Shih - Interdisciplinary Humanities
Tashelle Wright - Public Health

2015-2016 Council Members
Arghavan Alamatasz - Mechanical Engineering
Jasmine Armstrong - Interdisciplinary Humanities
Violet Barton - Interdisciplinary Humanities
Johannes Brust - Applied Mathematics
Patricia Cabral - Psychological Sciences
Rachel Hatano - Biological Engineering and Small-Scale Technologies
Nicole Madfis - Quantitative and Systems Biology
Benigno Merlin - Sociology
Sage Perdue - Interdisciplinary Humanities
Jamin Shih - Interdisciplinary Humanities
Maryam Tabatabaeian - Cognitive and Information Sciences
Click on the names above to email Council members with questions or to suggest agenda items for the next meeting. Alternately, you may email Mayra Chavez-Franco at Graduate Division for more information.
Next Meetings:

September 14      10:00-11:00 am       SSB 250
September 29      1:00-2:00 pm           SSB 238
October 20           1:00-2:00 pm          SSB 238
November 2         10:00-11:00 am       SSB 238
November 16       10:00-11:00 am       SSB 238
December 1         1:00-2:00 pm           SSB 238

Past Meetings:
​August 16, 5 - 6 p.m., California Room
​July 22, 10 - 11 a.m.
Monday, May 2, 1 - 2 pm, KL 360
Thursday, April 14, 10 - 11 am, KL 360
Tuesday, March 8, 5 - 6 pm - with Dr. Patricia Matthis
Thursday, March 10, 10 - 11 am
Thursday, March 17 or 18 - with Dr. Carlos Castillo-Chavez
Thursday, February 11, 2 - 3 pm 
Thursday, February 4, 2 - 3 pm, KL 360
Thursday, December 10, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm, SSB 238
Tuesday, October 27, 10 am - 11 am, SSB 238

Graduate Fellowships Promoting Diversity

UC Merced invites all students to help create an environment committed to sustaining and advancing initiatives for an inclusive campus community. Furthermore, as a diverse campus and a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), many opportunities exist for students to receive graduate funding from fellowships seeking individuals with diverse backgrounds.  Please follow the links below for additional information:

Eugene-Cota Robles Fellowship
Faculty Mentor Program
President’s Dissertation Year Fellowship
Graduate Dean’s Dissertation Year Fellowship
Miguel Velez Scholarship

Undocumented Students

UC Merced welcomes undocumented students — use the links below to find out more about graduate education as an undocumented student at UC Merced. For even more information, be sure to visit Undocumented Student Services.

Undocumented Students FAQ
California Dream Act

UC Merced and Graduate Division were proud to host and co-sponsor the 3rd Annual UndocGrads Conference in August 2015. See more about the event here.

Medical Accommodations & Leave

UC Merced complies with the UC established policies to provide and promote a supportive workplace culture for medical leave accommodations for our graduate students. 

All graduate students have equal access to accomodation resources. Depending on the situation, students can meet with Disability Services and/or Human Resources (for TA's and GSR's requiring accommodation). The Graduate Division helps to facilitate communication among departments/schools and can guide students toward available resources.

Leave Requests: 

Graduate Student Researchers (GSR) and Academic Student Employees (ASE) Leave Request Form
Direct all questions to your hiring school and/or to the Academic Personnel Office.

Internal Fellowship awardees (i.e. Eugene Coda Robles, President’s Dissertation, etc.) should contact the Graduate Division.

Longer absences are available (up to 1 year) via the Education Leave Program. Find the application here.


Contact Us

Graduate Admissions:
Phone: (209) 228-4723
Graduate Funding:
Phone: (209) 228-4622
General Inquiries:
Phone: (209) 228-4723
Fax: (209) 228-6906
Mailing Address:
University of California, Merced
ATTN: Graduate Division
5200 N. Lake Road, SSB 310
Merced, CA 95343
University of California, Merced
The first new American research university in the 21st century, with a mission of research, teaching and service.
University of California, Merced
5200 North Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343
T: (209) 228-4400
University of California
Go to top