Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2022

Degree Type



The purpose of this study was 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 what type of strategies graduate faculty use to assess their implicit bias. Finally, this research assessed what support graduate faculty may need to better recognize and gauge implicit bias during the graduate application review process. This study employed the use of a qualitative, phenomenological research design and conducted in-depth interviews with graduate faculty members that serve on admissions committees. Through data analysis of participant interviews, several broad themes and sub themes related to faculty perceptions of their own bias, the bias of others, admission committees, and implicit bias training emerged. The study outcomes are discussed in relation to the prior research and literature on this phenomenon. Implications for practice including recommendations for practitioners and strategies for how these results can be practically applied are included.