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Diversity, equity, and access

Students at Tapia Conference with Richard Tapia

The Department of Computer Science is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community of students, staff, and faculty who value the worth and contributions of every individual.

We seek to recruit, welcome, mentor, and educate graduate and undergraduate students, including significant numbers of women and people from underrepresented groups in computer science, all of whom are passionate about benefitting society through technological innovation.

Diversity and inclusion activities involve all aspects and stakeholders of the department, including alumni and friends who contribute time and resources. In 2016, the department was recognized nationally by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) for excellence in promoting women in undergraduate computing. From 2007-2015, the percentage of female computer science majors increased from 4% to 17%. Today, women make up 23% of the department’s majors and the department participates in NCWIT Learning Circles and the Center for Inclusive Computing’s M.S. Pathways to Computing Consortium.

We are committed to expanding access to a range of underserved and underrepresented students. These efforts benefit greatly from the generosity of donors to our endowed Barbara G. Ryder Fund for Excellence in Computer Science for the support of diversity and inclusion initiatives.

From department to college to university, diversity at Virginia Tech is important at every level. Explore our efforts.

Diversity on demand

Learn more about diversity in computing.

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Diversity committee

We work to help track progress, identify challenges, and carry out initiatives designed to improve diversity, equity, and access in the department, as well as foster a positive and welcoming climate for students, faculty, and staff in computer science.


Disrupting academic bullying

To maintain a culture of civility throughout the graduate education experience, academic bullying is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.

Cultural and community centers 

Established in 1998 as the Safe Zone program, the Cultural and Community Centers office includes a number of centers that offer advocacy, advising, community, and cultural awareness.

Stop abuse

Virginia Tech commits to: working toward ending abuse and violence on campus, supporting the abused, and holding perpetrators accountable.

Safe zones

Safe Zones are welcoming spaces created by people who are committed to acceptance, equity, and full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and queer communities, and their allies.

Get support

Student organizations

Virginia Tech has more than 800 student organizations on campus that offer social and professional development and rich experiences for everyone. Several help under-represented and underserved students find community, including the National Society of Black EngineersSociety of Women Engineers, and the Association of Women in Computing at Virginia Tech.

Study abroad and experiential learning

Students interested in study abroad and other enrichment, research, and academic opportunities can learn more from the Global Education Office and Experiential Learning program in computer science.