Julie Posselt

Assistant Professor of Education

PhD, Higher Education, University of Michigan

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Holistic graduate admissions | STEM equity and inclusion | Mental health in higher education



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Dr. Julie Posselt is an Assistant Professor of higher education in the USC Rossier School of Education and a National Academy of Education/ Spencer Foundation postdoctoral research fellow. Rooted in sociological and organizational theory, her research program examines institutionalized inequalities in higher education and organizational efforts aimed at reducing inequities and encouraging diversity. She focuses on selective sectors of higher education— graduate education, STEM fields, and elite undergraduate institutions—where longstanding practices and cultural norms are being negotiated to better identify talent and educate students in a changing society.

Extended bio and CV at USC Rossier


FIELD: Fieldwork Inspiring Expanded Leadership in Diversity

As a co-princial investigator on the National Science Foundation-funded FIELD project, Posselt and her team are conducting ethnographic research of field-based experiences at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her work will be used to inform the design of a leadership institute for geoscientists who facilitate field-based experiences.


Inside Graduate Admissions: Merit, Diversity, and Faculty Gatekeeping
Harvard University Press, Jan. 2016
Buy now: Amazon | Harvard UP

How does graduate admissions work? Who does the system work for, and who falls through its cracks? More people than ever seek graduate degrees, but little has been written about who gets in and why. Drawing on firsthand observations of admission committees and interviews with faculty in 10 top-ranked doctoral programs in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, education professor Julie Posselt pulls back the curtain on a process usually conducted in secret.

Recent articles and publications at USC Rossier

Recent media

Jun 7, 2017
GREs don’t predict grad school success. What does?

March 8, 2017
How the tyranny of prestige disadvantages women

Chronicle of Higher Education
Nov. 12, 2016
New Insights on What Psychologically Rattles Graduate Students

Inside Higher Ed
October 31, 2016
‘Cognitive Scaffolding’ for Graduate Students

The New York Times
July 7, 2016
Public Colleges Chase Out-of-State Students, and Tuition

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