Historically Underrepresented Graduate Students’ Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic


The purpose of this study was to understand the experiences of historically underrepresented graduate students, more than half of whom were enrolled in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, during the COVID-19 pandemic. This focus group study represents an initial stage in developing an intervention for historically underrepresented graduate students and their families.


Underrepresentation of graduate students of color in STEM has been attributed to a myriad of factors, including a lack of support systems. Familial support is an endorsed reason for persisting in graduate school. It is unclear what historically underrepresented graduate students’ experiences are during uncertain times, such as a pandemic.


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Authors: Bridget A. Walsh, Tricia A. Woodliff, Julie Lucero, Sheena Harvey, Melissa M. Burnham, Teysha L. Bowser, Matthew Aguirre, David W. Zeh