Our commitment to diversity and inclusion

Our school, and the engineering profession, cannot reach their maximum potential without embracing the diversity of ideas and experiences that come from people of different backgrounds and creating an inclusive culture where all people can thrive. Moreover, creating and harnessing technology to benefit humanity cannot be accomplished without the broad perspectives and skills of a diverse community. The diversity in all dimensions of the SEAS community and in the engineering profession are well below my aspirations, so we have much work to do. As dean, I am committed to ensuring that the School of Engineering and Applied Science dramatically increases the diversity of its members, while providing an inclusive and collaborative culture such that all members of our community can achieve their full potential.

Creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive community requires leadership, shared commitment, and sustained effort by all members of SEAS. To coordinate and spearhead our efforts, we have a dedicated Office of Diversity and Inclusion. We welcome your ideas and suggestions on improving diversity, inclusion, and equity in the SEAS community.

  • Andrea Goldsmith

    Andrea Goldsmith

    Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Science
    Arthur LeGrand Doty Professor of Electrical Engineering

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion supports the engineering school in achieving academic excellence via recruiting and retaining individuals from diverse backgrounds and fostering a culture of belonging to unlock their potential for success. We aspire to enhance the excellence of the school by becoming more diverse, inclusive, and equitable.

School of Engineering Programs

The School of Engineering and Applied Science is working at many levels to foster greater diversity within the school and broaden participation in science and engineering more broadly. Below are a few of the programs working toward those goals.

University-wide Resources

Beyond the engineering school, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism initiatives are a high priority at Princeton University. Click the button below for a concise guide to many of the available resources and their respective contacts.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Diversity Dashboard

Fostering a more inclusive and diverse community requires baseline information about our current demographics, recent trends, and the broader context of diversity in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines. Here we present a snapshot of that information, which in many cases reflects unacceptably low numbers that we actively seek to address.

Beyond Princeton, nationally and internationally, fields within engineering and applied science do not reflect the diversity of the broader society that these disciplines serve. In 2019, the latest year for which U.S. data are available, for example, just 215 Black/African American students earned Ph.D.s in engineering and computer science fields – just 1.7% of all the Ph.D.s in those fields in that year. Among all Ph.D. recipients in those combined fields nationally, 23.8% were women.

These numbers are far too low. This systemic imbalance intensifies the challenge of building a more diverse community at Princeton and underscores our responsibility to engage and contribute more broadly to diversity and inclusion in STEM.

The following data reflect diversity within the Princeton Engineering community for the most recent year available.

Gender and race as percentages of faculty, student, researcher, and staff groups
  Faculty Post-doctoral Graduate Student Undergraduate Student Administrative Staff
Women 18% 25% 29% 42% 59%
Black/African American 2% 1% 1% 7% 2%
Hispanic/Latino 3% 2% 4% 8% 4%
American Indian/Alaskan Native 0% 0% <1% <1% 0%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islands 0% 0% <1% 0% 1%
International 7% 75% 55% 13% 0%

* Underrepresented groups, such as identifying as Black or LatinX, include U.S. citizens or permanent residents only, but are counted as a percentage of the whole population. That is, the international and underrepresented populations are exclusive of each other.

** The category of international includes members of the community who are not U.S. citizens nor permanent residents.

The School of Engineering and Applied Science established its Office of Diversity and Inclusion in 2018. One area of focused attention during that time has been in broadening the recruitment of graduate students. Over the last five years the number of women applicants has increased 30% and the number of U.S. students identifying as under-represented minorities has increase by 61%. Each increment of improvement has required a multi-pronged approach, including a strong commitment from the six engineering departments, robust outreach to a broader range of schools, and a constant examination and evolution of approaches to better engage and support applicants from diverse backgrounds.

Here is a snapshot of graduate admissions over the last five years, measured as a percentage of our all admissions.

Women and under-represented minorities admitted as percentage of all admitted graduate students
  2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021
Underrepresented Minorities 5% 2% 6% 8% 8%
Women 25% 29% 30% 35% 35%

* Under-represented students include U.S. citizens or permanent residents who identify as Black/African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American/Alaskan, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, or multi-racial including at least one of those groups.

While we are making progress, we have more work to do. The School of Engineering and Applied Science and its departments and centers will continue to work at many levels to enhance the diversity of our graduate student population and to enhance the success of all of our students once they join us. The Pathways programs for rising college seniors and for prospective faculty members are examples of outreach to increase access to graduate school and faculty ranks.