BRAID: Building, Recruiting, and Inclusion for Diversity

BRAID Overview  |  BRAID Research  |  Commitments
Funders  |  BRAID Beacons  |  BRAID Institutions  |  BRAID Affiliates

The BRAID initiative (Building, Recruiting, And Inclusion for Diversity), co-led by and Harvey Mudd College, launched in September 2014 in partnership with 15 universities across the nation.

Since 2014, 15 CS departments (“BRAID Schools”) under the leadership of their department chairs have committed to implementing a combination of four commitments in efforts to increase the participation of students from underrepresented groups — racial/ethnic minorities and women — in their undergraduate CS programs.

Learn more about who participated in BRAID in 2018.

BRAID Research

As a part of this initiative, a UCLA Research team — led by Dr. Linda Sax — is conducting a mixed-methods longitudinal study of departmental changes with respect to these commitments across the 15 annual BRAID Schools. The research team is collecting data from students, faculty, staff, department chairs, and administrators in order to answer a variety of research questions related to attracting and retaining women and underrepresented minority students in computing majors. See the latest research updates, as presented at the 2019 Grace Hopper Celebration.

2019 will usher in the fifth year of this study, supported in part by the National Science Foundation. The four BRAID commitments are strategies that BRAID Beacon Schools — institutions leading the way in gender diversity within their CS departments — had implemented prior to the start of this initiative. Each BRAID School receives an annual stipend to support the implementation of their commitments, funded by leading technology companies and


BRAID Schools act to address a minimum of three of the following commitments:

  • Modify introductory CS courses to make them more appealing and less intimidating to underrepresented students.
  • Lead outreach programs for high school teachers and students to build a diverse pipeline of students.
  • Build confidence and community among underrepresented students.
  • Develop and/or promote joint majors in areas like CS and biology that are attractive to underrepresented students.

Read more on activities BRAID Schools are undertaking.

Learn more about the results of the BRAID initiative.


BRAID is funded by Intel, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and IBM. The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT (CMD-IT) are nonprofit partners on the BRAID initiative.

BRAID Beacons

Beacon Schools are model institutions that have been successful at increasing the diversity of their undergraduate computing programs. The BRAID program was designed, in part, around the successes seen at our Beacon Schools which include: California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo, Harvey Mudd College, University of British Columbia, and University of Washington.

Beacon Schools Successfully Guide and Advise BRAID Schools

School Years Change in Representation Unit of Measurement
Cal Poly-SLO 2008-2016 8% to 27% (Computer Science)
9% to 29% (Software Engineering)
Women admitted to programs
Harvey Mudd College 2006-2016 12% to 47.5% Women majoring in computing
University of British Columbia 1997-2016 16% to 32% Women majoring in computing
University of Washington 2007-2015 19% to 33% Women majoring in computing

Sources: BRAID Beacon school chairs, publicly reported data, and report on Beacon school rate of change by Kaitlin Splett, UCLA.

15 BRAID Schools

Arizona State University Missouri University of Science and Technology New Jersey Institute of Technology
University of California, Irvine University of Illinois at Chicago University of Maryland, Baltimore County
University of Maryland, College Park University of Nebraska-Lincoln University of North Texas
University of Rochester University of South Carolina University of Texas at El Paso
University of Vermont University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Villanova University

BRAID Affiliates Program

Academics at the 2016 BRAID Summit

Affiliates are institutions that have committed to increasing the diversity of their computing departments, but do not receive funding through the BRAID initiative. Affiliates participate in BRAID for one year, during which they learn best practices from our BRAID Schools. They also participate in the annual BRAID Summit in July which gathers together all the BRAID stakeholders for two and a half days of discussion, ideation, and inspiration.

The BRAID Affiliates program continues to gain popularity! Check out our current and past affiliate institutions.

2020 BRAID Affiliate Schools

  • Dalhousie University
  • Northwestern University
  • Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (New Brunswick)
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • The Australian National University
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • University of South Florida, Tampa
  • York University

2019 BRAID Affiliate Schools

  • Boston University
  • Colorado State University
  • Kean University
  • Temple University
  • University of Melbourne

2018 BRAID Affiliate Schools

  • Brown University
  • Lehigh University
  • Michigan Technological University
  • Tennessee Tech
  • Tufts University
  • University of Waterloo
  • University of the Pacific

2017 BRAID Affiliate Schools

  • California State University, Long Beach
  • Duke University
  • McGill University
  • San Francisco State University
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Florida
  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • University of St. Andrews

2016 BRAID Affiliate Schools

  • California State University, Monterey Bay
  • Hartnell College
  • Monmouth University
  • New York University
  • Sweet Briar College
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Alabama, Birmingham

2015 BRAID Affiliate Schools

  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Rice University
  • Simon Fraser University