Holistic Review Workshop


September 27, 2019

2:00 pm – 4:00 Pm

Univeristy Union room 314A

How can you improve

  • your graduate student pool and its diversity
  • the diversity of the learning environment in your program
  • the quality of student outcomes including placement


Graduate admission committees aim to select and invest in prospects most likely to succeed as graduate students while making meaningful contributions to the learning environment and departmental culture. How to garner successful prospects while also achieving the diverse culture that enhances the experience for all remains a huge challenge for many disciplines. There is a well-justified concern that undue weight on quantitative measures of student merit such as standardized test scores and GPA may not accurately predict success in graduate school, and may adversely affect diversity because such measures disadvantage underrepresented, non-traditional and older students (Awad, 2007; Louderback, 2008; Sternberg and Williams, 1997). The Educational Testing Service (ETS), which produces the GRE, cautions against relying too heavily on GRE scores alone, because the test “does not and cannot measure all the qualities that are important in predicting success in graduate study,” such as motivation, grit, and a sense of curiosity that can drive scientific discovery.


Holistic review, that includes consideration of a broad range of candidate qualities such as “noncognitive” or personal attributes, widens the evidence base that graduate programs can consider when evaluating a candidate for admission. Implementing holistic review processes can be challenging. On September 27, from 2.00-4:00 p.m. Toulouse Graduate School will host a workshop on holistic review in graduate admissions to explore the rationale and best practices.  Graduate deans, graduate admissions professionals, faculty, diversity officers all stand to benefit from a deeper understanding of holistic review processes and their likely outcomes.