Skip to Content

Research News at Vanderbilt

The New Face of Science: How Vanderbilt became a top producer of minority Ph.D.s in STEM

Apr. 16, 2013, 11:17 AM | Want more research news? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter »

Not long after he arrived at Vanderbilt nine years ago, Keivan Stassun, professor of astronomy, began building on a newly forged alliance with Fisk University, a historically black college just two miles from the Vanderbilt campus, in an effort to increase the number of African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and other minorities earning Ph.D. degrees in science. Since 2004 the Fisk–Vanderbilt Master’s-to-Ph.D. Bridge program, which he directs, has admitted more than 60 students. This year it will become the nation’s No. 1 producer of minority Ph.D. recipients in physics, astronomy and materials science. Students typically receive two years’ training in the master’s program at Fisk before entering Ph.D. programs at Vanderbilt or another institution.