Diversity Statements

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
djysyed
Posts: 265
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:59 pm

Diversity Statements

Postby djysyed » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:30 pm

Some schools asked applicants to submit diversity statements as part of their application. However, I am not sure how big of an impact these diversity statements have and wanted to know if they do make a significant impact on one's chances?

Junaid456
Posts: 152
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: Diversity Statements

Postby Junaid456 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:39 am

djysyed wrote:Some schools asked applicants to submit diversity statements as part of their application. However, I am not sure how big of an impact these diversity statements have and wanted to know if they do make a significant impact on one's chances?


Do check whether the statement is an required or an optional departmental requirement. For example, the department at the University of Minnesota says that it's okay if you don't submit this statement. On the other hand, to the best of my knowledge, the submission of the diversity statement is a departmental requirement at the University of Washington.

nothing
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:58 am

Re: Diversity Statements

Postby nothing » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:46 am

Junaid456 wrote:
djysyed wrote:Some schools asked applicants to submit diversity statements as part of their application. However, I am not sure how big of an impact these diversity statements have and wanted to know if they do make a significant impact on one's chances?


Do check whether the statement is an required or an optional departmental requirement. For example, the department at the University of Minnesota says that it's okay if you don't submit this statement. On the other hand, to the best of my knowledge, the submission of the diversity statement is a departmental requirement at the University of Washington.

I submitted my app for Washington last week but I did not see any diversity statement. You made me a bit nervous now.

Junaid456
Posts: 152
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: Diversity Statements

Postby Junaid456 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:01 am

nothing wrote:
Junaid456 wrote:
djysyed wrote:Some schools asked applicants to submit diversity statements as part of their application. However, I am not sure how big of an impact these diversity statements have and wanted to know if they do make a significant impact on one's chances?


Do check whether the statement is an required or an optional departmental requirement. For example, the department at the University of Minnesota says that it's okay if you don't submit this statement. On the other hand, to the best of my knowledge, the submission of the diversity statement is a departmental requirement at the University of Washington.

I submitted my app for Washington last week but I did not see any diversity statement. You made me a bit nervous now.


See this link: https://math.washington.edu/how-apply

They require a Personal History Statement. it's optional for domestic applicants, though.

nothing
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:58 am

Re: Diversity Statements

Postby nothing » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:47 am

That's quite weird, though. I did not see that when I did the online application. Anyone here applying to washington ?

Junaid456
Posts: 152
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: Diversity Statements

Postby Junaid456 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:51 am

nothing wrote:That's quite weird, though. I did not see that when I did the online application. Anyone here applying to washington ?


Hmm, I didn't even bother looking into the school further because I didn't want to write this two page long statement. :/

djysyed
Posts: 265
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:59 pm

Re: Diversity Statements

Postby djysyed » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:07 am

Junaid456 wrote:Do check whether the statement is an required or an optional departmental requirement. For example, the department at the University of Minnesota says that it's okay if you don't submit this statement. On the other hand, to the best of my knowledge, the submission of the diversity statement is a departmental requirement at the University of Washington.


I'm asking about the schools that do require it such as; Northwestern, Berkeley, UCLA, Yale etc.

Junaid456
Posts: 152
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: Diversity Statements

Postby Junaid456 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:11 am

djysyed wrote:
Junaid456 wrote:Do check whether the statement is an required or an optional departmental requirement. For example, the department at the University of Minnesota says that it's okay if you don't submit this statement. On the other hand, to the best of my knowledge, the submission of the diversity statement is a departmental requirement at the University of Washington.


I'm asking about the schools that do require it such as; Northwestern, Berkeley, UCLA, Yale etc.


Oh, I am not sure then. I didn't apply to a lot of top notch schools. I assumed that only a handful of schools required the diversity statement. I guess that's not the case, perhaps.

kieroda
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:45 pm

Re: Diversity Statements

Postby kieroda » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:12 am

nothing wrote:That's quite weird, though. I did not see that when I did the online application. Anyone here applying to washington ?

Yeah, I applied to Washington. I am a domestic applicant and I decided against writing it. I did see an (optional) spot for it in the online application though.

djysyed
Posts: 265
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:59 pm

Re: Diversity Statements

Postby djysyed » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:17 am

Junaid456 wrote:[
Oh, I am not sure then. I didn't apply to a lot of top notch schools. I assumed that only a handful of schools required the diversity statement. I guess that's not the case, perhaps.


Considering that Yale is a liberal arts school and California is a very liberal state, I understand they do take into consideration diversity but I'm just trying to figure out to what extent. If I was slightly better qualified than a Nigerian prince, for example, would I lose to him?

nothing
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:58 am

Re: Diversity Statements

Postby nothing » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:54 am

djysyed wrote:
Junaid456 wrote:[
Oh, I am not sure then. I didn't apply to a lot of top notch schools. I assumed that only a handful of schools required the diversity statement. I guess that's not the case, perhaps.


Considering that Yale is a liberal arts school and California is a very liberal state, I understand they do take into consideration diversity but I'm just trying to figure out to what extent. If I was slightly better qualified than a Nigerian prince, for example, would I lose to him?


Definitely, lol.

nothing
Posts: 57
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Re: Diversity Statements

Postby nothing » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:57 am

I am an international applicant and I did not submit the diversity essay for washington ( it looks stupid as everything I need to say is already included in my sop). Well, 1 rejection so far.

Junaid456
Posts: 152
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Re: Diversity Statements

Postby Junaid456 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:59 am

nothing wrote:I am an international applicant and I did not submit the diversity essay for washington ( it looks stupid as everything I need to say is already included in my sop). Well, 1 rejection so far.


But you said that the application system had no such option, or did it?

nothing
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:58 am

Re: Diversity Statements

Postby nothing » Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:05 am

It's optional, I guess. I had too many applications and I did not remember it. It did not show up in the check list of washington's online application.

lothiriell
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Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:28 am

Re: Diversity Statements

Postby lothiriell » Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:17 am

I didn't see a diversity statement asked for anywhere in the Northwestern application (I am an international applicant)... Nor on the application requirements page, nor on the checklist. I have also contacted them several times regarding other issues and they never mentioned it. I am totally confused now.

Junaid456
Posts: 152
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: Diversity Statements

Postby Junaid456 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:38 am

nothing wrote:It's optional, I guess. I had too many applications and I did not remember it. It did not show up in the check list of washington's online application.


This is weird. I didn't even bother looking at the department/online application since I didn't really want to write this 2 page statement.

korobeiniki
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:19 pm

Re: Diversity Statements

Postby korobeiniki » Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:59 am

djysyed wrote:
Junaid456 wrote:Do check whether the statement is an required or an optional departmental requirement. For example, the department at the University of Minnesota says that it's okay if you don't submit this statement. On the other hand, to the best of my knowledge, the submission of the diversity statement is a departmental requirement at the University of Washington.


I'm asking about the schools that do require it such as; Northwestern, Berkeley, UCLA, Yale etc.


UCLA does not require it, the math department told me so via e-mail. Also I don't remember Yale requiring it either; it's not in the checklist on the application status.

djysyed
Posts: 265
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:59 pm

Re: Diversity Statements

Postby djysyed » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:10 am

lothiriell wrote:I didn't see a diversity statement asked for anywhere in the Northwestern application (I am an international applicant)... Nor on the application requirements page, nor on the checklist. I have also contacted them several times regarding other issues and they never mentioned it. I am totally confused now.


This is strange. The diversity statement for Northwestern was: The Graduate School at Northwestern University considers having a diverse student population a key element to the educational experience of its graduate students. Diversity presents itself in many different forms such as: socioeconomic status, race or ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or place of origin, disability, unique work or life experience, etc. We invite you to use this space to tell us how you may contribute to the diversification of The Graduate School, your program and Northwestern University. The submission of this statement is optional for all applicants.

korobeiniki wrote:UCLA does not require it, the math department told me so via e-mail. Also I don't remember Yale requiring it either; it's not in the checklist on the application status.


Well that's a bummer, I purposely took my exams a week early so I could spend a week focusing on these Diversity statements.

korobeiniki
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:19 pm

Re: Diversity Statements

Postby korobeiniki » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:18 am

My personal impression is that the diversity statement is a generic thing that the University administration asks of you and it does not concern specific departments necessarily. Obviously it might be given more weight in other departments (eg. sociology or history) but specifically in pure and applied math departments I don't think it makes much of a difference. I don't think anyone expects your research in derived algebraic geometry to help marginalized minorities, nor will your personal background matter much in what research topic you pick. I just viewed it as another chance to speak in a personal tone and describe the sequence of events that led me to want to pursue a PhD in math.

Edit: Of course, these statements matter for sure if you have faced special circumstances in your life. For example if you come from an extremely underprivileged community and had to balance a load of jobs to sustain yourself and your education, or if you had to leave school for years because your country was at war and you were drafted into the army (going into hypothetical scenarios here). That kind of stuff should clearly be known to people who review your application, but then that does not make the diversity statement much different than the statement of purpose.

Peregrine
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Re: Diversity Statements

Postby Peregrine » Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:30 pm

Did anybody here apply to UC Davis? I know they have a section entitled Personal History and Diversity Statement on their website which is required with a maximum of 4000 characters. It was the only school that made me write such a statement so I was also taken back a bit.

My guess is that it won't be anything too extreme on the spectrum -- it won't shoot your chances to hell, but it won't be the only thing that boosts you in either.

coHomerLogist
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Re: Diversity Statements

Postby coHomerLogist » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:44 pm

So I have (inattentive) ADHD, and most of the advice I've seen is not to disclose any mental health problems on your application.

I think there's a case to be made for talking about it in my diversity statement, though. I have a pretty mediocre record for my first two years of school. (~3.3 gpa, went to a high school that didn't offer calculus or AP classes, so first year was calc 1+calc 2. Second year was game theory, calc 3, linear algebra, logic, topology.)

In the final part of my second year, I was diagnosed+received treatment, and everything has been so much better-- classes takes <50% of the hours it used to, I have a 3.88 gpa, and have taken as many advanced math classes as possible.

I wrote a diversity statement that briefly explains my situation and gives some information about inattentive ADHD, and talk about the circumstances of my worst semester (the one where I took topology+logic).

The basic argument is this: original research often involves getting stuck, floundering, feelings of failure, and so on. I've experienced all of these things excessively before my diagnosis, and I'm still motivated to continue. Since ADHD is highly treatable and I have a good recent record, it shouldn't make me a worse candidate.

Does this sound like something that I should submit to schools that require a statement? I'm worried about the stigmatization of mental illness.

Bayesian1701
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:38 am

Re: Diversity Statements

Postby Bayesian1701 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:59 pm

coHomerLogist wrote:I wrote a diversity statement that briefly explains my situation and gives some information about inattentive ADHD, and talk about the circumstances of my worst semester (the one where I took topology+logic).

The basic argument is this: original research often involves getting stuck, floundering, feelings of failure, and so on. I've experienced all of these things excessively before my diagnosis, and I'm still motivated to continue. Since ADHD is highly treatable and I have a good recent record, it shouldn't make me a worse candidate.

Does this sound like something that I should submit to schools that require a statement? I'm worried about the stigmatization of mental illness.


That sounds good, and I understand your fears of submitting it. I too have ADHD. Honestly, if your statement hurts you because they aren't understanding then it might not be a good place to attend anyway. I wouldn't mind reading the entire statement if you want.

coHomerLogist
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:23 pm

Re: Diversity Statements

Postby coHomerLogist » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:49 am

Bayesian1701 wrote:That sounds good, and I understand your fears of submitting it. I too have ADHD. Honestly, if your statement hurts you because they aren't understanding then it might not be a good place to attend anyway. I wouldn't mind reading the entire statement if you want.

pm'd




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