Equitable Pathways


The historic clock tower at Tuskegee University. The Foundation made its first grant to the university to advance educational equity back in 1953, and continues to provide support through its Equitable Pathways program.

Program Goal

To develop pathways for Black, Indigenous, and Latina/o students from Minority Serving Institutions to STEM graduate programs.


Our country’s Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) – of which there are seven types – not only enroll over one-third of the nation’s undergraduates, they produce one-fifth of the nation’s STEM bachelor’s degrees. Moreover, some MSIs are already well-known as “baccalaureate origin” institutions – colleges and universities who send their graduates on to complete STEM doctoral degrees. For example, nearly a quarter of Black STEM doctoral degree holders between 2015 and 2019 earned their bachelor’s degree from a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). In training a large share of bachelor’s degree recipients in STEM who identify as Black, Indigenous, and Latinx, MSIs hold the key to diversifying our research enterprise and increasing the knowledge that flows from it.

Grantmaking in this program supports institutional pathways from MSIs to master’s and doctoral degree programs in astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, data science, Earth sciences, economics, engineering, marine science, mathematics, physics, and statistics. Grant funds facilitate the creation and strengthening of diverse, equitable, and inclusive pathways to and through STEM graduate education with the recognition that student pathways are too often disrupted by systemic racism, discrimination, and bias through prevailing institutional and departmental policy and practice. Equitable Pathways grants are only awarded via our calls for letters of inquiry.

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