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Faculty perceptions on (implicit) bias during the graduate admission review process

Brandy Pieper (Graduate Admissions, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA)
Masha Krsmanovic (School of Education, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA)

Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education

ISSN: 2398-4686

Article publication date: 29 November 2022




The purpose of this study is to examine whether implicit bias exists within the graduate admissions process at a large public research university in the Southeast United States. Additionally, this research sought to identify the type of strategies graduate faculty in the USA use to assess their implicit bias and the support they may need to better recognize and gauge implicit bias during the graduate application review process.


This study used the use of a qualitative, phenomenological research design by conducting individual interviews with graduate faculty members that serve on admissions committees.


The findings revealed six themes in relation to the purpose of the study – bias recognition, faculty perceptions of their own bias, faculty perceptions on the bias of others, strategies for the application review process, admission committee safeguards and the need for implicit bias training.


The study outcomes are discussed in relation to the prior research and literature on this phenomenon. Additionally, the study presents research and practical implications, including actionable strategies for how its results can be practically applied.



Pieper, B. and Krsmanovic, M. (2022), "Faculty perceptions on (implicit) bias during the graduate admission review process", Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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