Diversity Statement

Diversity Statement for Northwestern Graduate Program in Philosophy



Diversity and inclusiveness are core values and commitments of our graduate program. We understand diversity to include (without being limited to): socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, nationality or place of origin, disability, unique work or life experience, etc. Our department seeks to do all it can to make philosophy an inclusive discipline. We understand the value that diversity brings to philosophical inquiry, and that the health of our profession depends on greater inclusion of under-represented groups in the ranks of philosophers. As a training program, we play an important role in cultivating a diverse philosophical community. Our goal is to recruit and sustain a diverse graduate student body.


In order to realize this goal, the department will continue its commitment to:

  • encourage a full range of applicants with diverse backgrounds, for instance from two-year community colleges or from “non-elite” undergraduate institutions 
  • participate in diversity institutes and initiatives in the profession (such as PIKSI), in coordination with the Diversity Recruitment Officer (role currently played by Professor José Medina)
  • engage in diversity outreach (including visits to and communication with historically black colleges and universities as well other institutions with a high percentage of under-represented groups in their student body)
  • collect and make public data concerning the demographic makeup of graduate students, along with career outcomes such as time to degree and job placement, on our website and in the APA’s Guide to Graduate Programs in Philosophy
  • provide financial support, academic assistance, and advisement that reflects the diverse needs of a diverse population 
  • strive for a curriculum that illustrates that a diverse group of people have contributed in the past, and should contribute in the future to the richness of philosophy 
  • continuously strive toward an environment of greater inclusion and respect through critical self-examination, paying due attention not only to overt forms of prejudice or exclusion but also to its subtler manifestations.
  • sponsor special events and activities throughout the year such as our annual Inclusiveness Lecture and Gertrude Bussey Lecture.
  • coordinate with the ongoing efforts and programs of Northwestern’s Graduate School to foster a safe and supportive culture for diversity and inclusion. Northwestern demonstrates its commitment to diversity and inclusion with a comprehensive list of available resources for all members of our community.  To learn more about the University’s offerings, please visit Northwestern’s Diversity & Inclusion website.