Commitment to Underrepresented Students and Students with Disabilities

Because UCLA is located in a diverse and multi-ethnic cultural environment, special attention has been focused on promoting the inclusion of underrepresented individuals at the undergraduate, graduate, and faculty levels.

It is the commitment of UCLA to have a faculty and student body that reflects the ethnic balance of the Southern California region.  Dr. Claudia Mitchell-Kernan, former Vice-Chancellor of Graduate Studies at UCLA, pointed out that "UCLA has emerged as one of the most diverse institutions of higher education in the world.  Indeed many of our students and alumni accept this diversity as a defining characteristic of the campus, and integral to UCLA’s academic reputation for excellence in teaching and research.”  In fact, a 2015 report by US News and World Report on “Best Colleges” put UCLA as tied for the 8th most ethnically diverse national university (  UCLA also is diverse economically, with US News and World Report ranking UCLA as the #1 most economically diverse institution in the country, based on the fact that 39% of the undergraduates receive Pell grants as low-income students (  Furthermore, UCLA continues to expand its efforts into improving campus diversity by recently appointing Professor Jerry Kang as our first Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

The Cellular and Molecular Biology Training Program is proud of our record in recruiting underrepresented students to UCLA and to the training grant.  We are committed to taking full advantage of the tremendous talent pool in our diverse population.  We have had the honor of being listed on the NIGMS web site as an NIGMS program with “Notable Records of Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Minority Students”.  We are certainly not resting on any laurels, however.  We are making every effort to expand the participation of underrepresented students in our program, as well as to be active in the much larger process of keeping the pipeline of underrepresented scientists flowing by participating in programs like UCLA’s CityLab ( and High School Nanoscience Program ( 

The Cellular and Molecular Biology Training Program is also committed to the recruitment and retention of students with physical or learning disabilities.  We coordinate our efforts with the UCLA Office for Students with Disabilities to insure that we accommodate present students with disabilities, and to make this community aware of our commitment.  We will also work closely with graduate program admissions to assist in the recruitment of these individuals.