Diversity and Inclusion

Statement on Diversity & Inclusion

The Department of Psychology respects and values the full spectrum of human diversity in race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, body type, socio-economic background, age, disability, and national origin. We aim to foster a diverse and inclusive community of scholars. We do so by committing to the following goals and actions:

  • Recruiting and supporting students from backgrounds historically underrepresented in academia through outreach, financial support, and mentorship programs
  • Maintaining a departmental culture and environment that values and amplifies the voices of all community members
  • Providing students with the resources they need to be happy, productive, and successful in graduate school and beyond

Department of Psychology Diversity Committee: The Diversity Committee is comprised of faculty and graduate students who work to promote initiatives that foster diversity and inclusion in the Department of Psychology through programs and events related to recruitment and retention, and collective advocacy for department members from backgrounds historically underrepresented in academia. If you are a current or prospective student and have a question related to these topics, or if you would like to get involved in the committee's efforts, please email us at diversity_psych@cornell.edu.

Undergraduate Diversity Initiatives

Mentorship program: The Department of Psychology offers a mentorship program that pairs undergraduate and graduate students in psychology. The purpose of this program is to provide social support for advanced Cornell undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing careers in psychology. This student-focused program pairs interested juniors and seniors (majoring or minoring in psychology) with a current graduate student who will provide the mentee with tools to pursue research experience, graduate school, and/or professional development opportunities.

Cornell Graduate Students Mentoring Undergraduates (GSMU): Psychology students are also encouraged to participate in GSMU, a Cornell-wide mentorship program hosted by the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives.

Cornell Psychology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (Psych-SURF):  In summer 2019, the Diversity Committee launched the inaugural Psych-SURF program aimed at increasing accessibility of research opportunities for underrepresented students in psychology through paid research internships.

Equity Advocates: Equity Advocates are people within the department who will listen to your diversity- and inclusion-related concerns or ideas, help you brainstorm and investigate options and resources, and bring issues/concerns to the attention of the department without having your name attached. (Not confidential in mandatory reporting situations. A list of confidential resources can be found at Cornell Title IX site.)

Other resources:

Graduate Diversity Initiatives

Application fee waivers for prospective graduate students: The Graduate School offers fee waivers to apply to graduate school at Cornell in cases where the application fee ($105) presents a financial hardship for an applicant. Fee waivers can be requested through the payment page of the online application form. The Graduate School also offers application fee waivers to qualified participants of certain diversity-related programs. For additional information, please visit the Applicant Fee Waivers section of the Graduate School’s Application Fees website or their Contact Us! page.

Recruitment weekend diversity breakfast: At our department recruitment weekend for prospective graduate students, we hold a diversity breakfast for students from historically underrepresented groups, including students of color, first-generation students, students from low-income backgrounds, international students, LGBTQ+ students, students with disabilities, and more. This provides a space for prospective students to ask questions about diversity-related matters specific to being a member of the Cornell Psychology Department community.

Diversity-related fellowships for prospective graduate students: Prospective students apply for fellowships in support of diversity through the Graduate School admissions application. To be considered, applicants must respond “yes” to the question on the admissions application asking if they wish to be considered for university assistantships and fellowships, including diversity fellowships. Applicants must also submit a supplemental essay that addresses the provided essay prompt.

Diversity-related fellowships for incoming graduate students: There are several graduate school recruitment fellowships in support of diversity for incoming students, including:

  • SUNY Graduate Diversity Fellowship — for recruitment of new research degree students in graduate fields within contract colleges
  • Dean’s Excellence Fellowship — for recruitment of new research degree students
  • Dean’s McNair and McNair SUNY Graduate Diversity Fellowships — for recruitment of new research degree students who were McNair Scholars at their undergraduate institutions
  • Dean’s Mellon Mays and Mellon Mays SUNY Graduate Diversity Fellowships — for recruitment of new research degree students who were Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows at their undergraduate institutions

Diversity-related fellowships for advanced graduate students: Current graduate students can apply for the Provost Diversity Fellowship for Advanced Doctoral Students, available to students who have already passed their A Exams. For additional information, please visit: graduate school student fellowships.

Graduate & Professional Student Diversity Council Organizations: Cornell is home to a number of graduate and professional student organizations that promote diversity and inclusion. The following student organizations work collaboratively with the Graduate School and other campus partners on initiatives to advance a sense of community, professional excellence, and a climate of inclusion for all graduate and professional students, but especially for those from marginalized communities and backgrounds historically underrepresented in the academy.

For additional information about graduate admissions and requirements in psychology, please visit our admissions page.


Department of Psychology Equity Advocates: Equity Advocates are people within the department who will listen to your diversity and inclusion related concerns or ideas, help you brainstorm and investigate options and resources, bring issues/concerns to the attention of the department without having your name attached. (Not confidential in mandatory reporting situations. A list of confidential resources can be found at Cornell Title IX site)

  • Report a Bias Incident: To report a non-emergency harassment, discrimination or bias incident, email: report_bias@cornell.edu or fill out an online incident report
  • SHARE (Sexual Harassment and Assault – Response and Education). This site provides important and timely information to the Cornell community about sexual harassment, assault, gender discrimination and other related forms of violence. It also offers information about the SHARE partners who provide services, support, reporting options, education, and advocacy.
  • Cornell University Diversity & Inclusion Links to various offices and programs for diversity resources for at Cornell.
  • Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives (OADI) is focused on undergraduate inclusion and achievement across the Cornell campus so students of all backgrounds excel at their academic goals. OADI programs especially support low-income students, those who are the first in their families to achieve a college degree, and under-represented students of color.
  • Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement (OISE) works to advance a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, but especially for those from backgrounds historically underrepresented in graduate education and the academy.
  • Office of Faculty Development and Diversity (OFDD) works with deans and department chairs to increase faculty diversity, providing guidance in setting realistic diversity goals, training search committees, broadening faculty applicant pools, increasing retention of underrepresented groups, and providing faculty development and advancement opportunities.
  • Working at Cornell: Inclusion and BelongingLearn about Cornell’s policies and programs that support diversity and inclusion in our workplace, including the University Diversity Council, equal opportunity and affirmative action programs, and instructions and resources for reporting harassment, discrimination and bias.
  • Finding my communityA list of identity-based offices and programs including various ethnic, religious, gender/gender identity, disability, veteran and other protected status groups.
  • Welcome Postdocs: Resources from the Cornell University Office of Postdoctoral Studies.
  • Veterans and Military Resources: Cornell’s Military Community discuses programs and services available to our active military and veteran students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and provides resources for students, faculty, staff, and alumni veterans.
  • Religious Accommodation 
  • Accessibility InformationWhole community information
  • Student Disability Services: Resources for Students with disabilities and resources for faculty teaching students with disabilities.
  • Diversity Includes Disability campaign 
  • Student Groups: A searchable database of student organizations through the campus activities office.
  • Colleague Network Groups: The university sponsors Colleague Network Groups (CNGs) as a way for traditionally underrepresented minorities and their allies to find support, both at Cornell and beyond. The CNGs enhance our community culture by providing engaging programs for Cornell faculty and staff.