Portfolio Review in Graduate Admissions: Outcomes of a Pilot Program

The graduate enrollment management (GEM) landscape is rapidly changing as faculty and administrators recognize biases that may affect the graduate admissions process. At the same time, there is growing recognition and increased effort to advance inclusive excellence in higher education. Much of this work has been done at the undergraduate level and is only now beginning to reach graduate programs. The purpose of this article is to (i) discuss evidence for the need for change in the graduate admissions process, (ii) describe the development of a portfolio review protocol for graduate admissions in programs at a research university, and (iii) highlight a pilot program in which programs developed portfolio review processes and made admissions decisions using these protocols.


Caroline Maun is Associate Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of English at Wayne State University. As Graduate Director, she instituted practices and policies to enhance inclusive excellence such as portfolio review of Ph.D. applicants, enhancing alumni networks to recruit underrepresented students, and individualized recruiting visits for applicants. She earned a B.A. in English from Eckerd College, an M.A. in English from North Carolina State University, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.


Anne Victoria Neale is Professor and Vice Chair of Public Health Sciences in the Wayne State University Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, where she is also the Chair of the MPH Admissions Committee. She is the Deputy Editor of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. Neale received AHRQ-funded awards to build the evidence base of primary care and support collaborations among practice-based research networks. She earned a Ph.D. in social psychology from Wayne State University and an M.P.H. from the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston.

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