Recruitment & Communicating with Prospects

Best practices, legal considerations, and support resources to assist faculty’s interactions with prospective applicants and participation in the Diversity in Psychology Program (DPP) and other diversity recruitment initiatives.

Please contact the DGS and ADGS with questions and for additional guidance.

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Recommendations and Best Practices

Consider how statements about “fit” may create pressure to conform, or discourage diverse applicants when the focus is on “culture fit.” Help applicants understand what “research fit” means, and how differences in theoretical perspectives and training goals are valued and engaged within your advising practices. 

Help applicants understand that there are different pathways to a strong application and leverage the flexibility within holistic application review:

  • What alternatives to “traditional” research experiences could applicants consider when describing their preparation?
  • What strategies might an applicant consider for identifying strong recommendation writers if “traditional” faculty recommenders are not available (i.e. student has been out of school for several years)?
  • How could applicants emphasize their unique strengths and demonstrate that they can thrive when they have appropriate support and resources? 
  • In what situations might an extenuating circumstances statement be appropriate?

Legal Considerations

Guidance on the impact of the July 2023 Supreme Court decision on race-conscious admissions is provided by the Graduate School. All admissions decisions makers must be fully compliant with these requirements for the Fall 2024 cycle forward.

In the context of admissions, verbal and written statements are considered legally binding. Therefore, it is important to keep all discussions hypothetical. For instance:

Recommended Avoid
“...we consider applicants’ alignment with potential advisors and their research.” “...we will pair you with an advisor.”
“Admitted students receive…” “You will receive…”
“As a prospective student, I recommend you…” “As a student, I recommend you…”

Use qualifying language when offering advice: “you may find it helpful…” or “...may strengthen your application.” This can prevent suggestions from being misconstrued as a promise that by following the advice, an offer of admission will follow. 

Communications with prospective applicants must focus on answering an applicant's questions about the program, area, faculty advising practices, and similar topics. To preserve the integrity of the admissions process, these conversations must not be used as informal interviews, as all applicants must be evaluated with the same criteria and process. Information obtained about the applicant's identity (particularly race/ethnicity) cannot legally be factored into admission decisions.

We cannot comment on any applicant's chances of admission; applicants must use their best judgment in deciding whether to apply. Please encourage applicants to determine for themselves if the program is a good fit for their research interests and goals, and review our Admissions Guidelines to assess whether they would consider themselves to be a competitive applicant.

Diversity Recruitment Resources for Faculty

Prospect Inquiry Routing

  • General inquiries for information on how to apply can be referred or forwarded to
  • Applicants interested in working with specific faculty are advised to reach out directly with questions about faculty members’ research, advising approaches, and similar questions. To preserve the integrity of our admissions process, please limit your focus to answering applicants' questions about the program, area, faculty advising practices, and similar topics. Such conversations cannot be used as informal interviews.
Pat Frazier
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS)
N571 EltH | 625-6863
Laura Luepke
Associate Director of Graduate Studies (ADGS)
S243 EltH | 626-3483
Hope Savaria
Graduate Program Support & Event Specialist (GPSES)
S244 EltH | 625-0377
Heidi Wolff
Curriculum and Graduate Services Specialist (CGSS)
S258 EltH | 624-5002
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