Julie Renee Posselt

Assistant Professor of Higher Education, University of Michigan

Julie R. Posselt is assistant professor of higher education at the University of Michigan and a National Academy of Education/ Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Using organizational and sociological theory, her research examines gatekeeping, diversity, and wellbeing in sectors of higher education with longstanding inequalities. She has particular interests in research methods and the study of graduate education and the professoriate.

Posselt is author of the book Inside Graduate Admissions: Merit, Diversity, and Faculty Gatekeeping (2015, Harvard University Press), which is based on an award-winning comparative ethnographic study of faculty judgment in 10 highly ranked doctoral programs in three universities.

Other current projects include (1) the first national, multidisciplinary study of mental health disparities in graduate education and (2) a multi-institutional study of organizational efforts in STEM graduate programs to enroll and graduate more women and students of color.

Posselt has published other research in American Educational Research Journal, Research in Higher Education, Journal of Higher Education, Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, among others. Her work has been funded by the Spencer Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Center for Public Policy in Diverse Societies. In 2012, Posselt received the Outstanding Reviewer award from AERJ, and she is currently a member of the Journal of Higher Education’s editorial review board. She received her PhD from the University of Michigan.


  • –present
    Assistant Professor of Higher Education, University of Michigan


Postdoctoral Fellow, National Academy of Education/ Spencer Foundation