Select Page
Home » Faculty and Staff » Facilitating Academic Success » Recruiting and Outreach

Recruiting and Outreach

There are many approaches to identifying, contacting and encouraging promising applicants. In addition, the disciplinary interests and personal background of prospects can strongly influence what they find engaging and persuasive. Staff at the Rackham Graduate School are ready to collaborate with U-M graduate degree programs on their recruitment efforts. Encourage prospective students to take a moment and register their contact information and areas of interest through our website. Once they register we provide prospects with a UMID number. This in turn allows you to better identify and communicate with potential applicants to your program through the M-Pathways system.

Toolkit of Promising Practices

The tool kit contains promising practices that have been shown to attract, enroll, retain and place excellent graduate students who contribute to the academic and professional diversity at institutions of higher education. Download the Toolkit of Promising Practices (PDF).

Examples from the University of Michigan

Biomedical Engineering

Among recruitment strategies in this department is the approach of drawing upon those in the field in addition to their current faculty. For example, they make certain to involve local alumni in their recruiting events. They also invite department chairs from other universities to give seminars here at U-M on their current research. This encourages the visiting faculty to develop connections with Biomedical Engineering so that they would feel more comfortable recommending their students consider our U-M program when they are applying to graduate school.

Chemical Biology

Faculty and graduate students who represent the doctoral program at recruiting events are provided with a succinct list of talking points. This functions as a FAQ reference so that the recruiters can answer the questions most often asked by those who are considering a research degree.

Download: Chemical Biology Doctoral Program Talking Points


Both faculty and students proactively go after admitted students in an effort to persuade them to select U-M over other offers. One of the major activities is a recruiting weekend (with an alternate option available) in conjunction with PIBS. The department’s student services coordinator involves students by a reminder about the importance of the weekend and an invitation to the various events.

Download: Email Event Invitation

Materials Science and Engineering

Many consider “give-aways” to be a necessary recruiting tool. At graduate fairs and campus visits you see an array of logo-laden bags, pens and similar items pressed on prospective students. This year MSE sought to make this a value-added item: instead of another mug or keychain. MSE distributed pen drives with a data file promoting MSE programs that can’t be deleted.

School of Natural Resources and Environment

SNRE found a way to involve their students in conversations and initiatives around diversity through the formation of the Envoys. The Envoys are a group of approximately 20 Master’s students at SNRE chosen to participate in efforts to promote and strengthen diversity in their school with a focus on recruitment. These students are from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds in environmental fields and other STEM disciplines, first-generation college students, students from underrepresented geographic areas, low income, former Peace Corps volunteers, and veterans.

Examples from Other Universities and Organizations

Admissions & Recruitment: Advice for Undergrads

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Office of Dean for Graduate Education at MIT provides descriptive advice about their application process that is intended to encourage undergraduates by demystifying the application process and providing tips about what they really need to do to be successful.

Visit: Admissions & Recruitment: Advice for Undergrads

A Framework to Foster Diversity at Penn State

Source: Penn State University

This excerpt from a strategic planning report presents the three major goals of the Graduate School for recruiting and retaining a diverse student body in 2010-15. It provides a useful shift in perspective from the departmental to that of the larger institution.

Visit: A Framework to Foster Diversity at Penn State

Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity: Frequently Asked Questions

Source: National Institutes of Health, Office of Extramural Research

A succinct list of recruiting questions.

Visit: Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity: Frequently Asked Questions

Sloan Guide to the Successful Recruitment of Minority Students into Science and Engineering Ph.D. Programs

Source: The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

The guide is intended as a reference manual for faculty and recruiters in search of graduate students in the areas of science, engineering and mathematics.

Download: Sloan Guide to the Successful Recruitment of Minority Students into Science and Engineering Ph.D. Programs