Miramontes Scholars Group photos

The Miramontes Baca Doctoral Fellowship Program supports education doctoral students with research interests focused on educational equity and cultural diversity.

The fellowship exemplifies the CU Boulder School of Education’s shared commitments to democracy, diversity, equity, and justice by providing promising scholars and historically underrepresented applicants with five years of funding for full-time doctoral study, including one year of support focused on completion of your dissertation. Additionally, Miramontes Scholars are members of a dedicated and supportive community. 

Extending legacies

Ofelia MiramontesThe Miramontes Baca Doctoral Scholars Program was initially created in memory of the lifetime contributions of Professor Ofelia Miramontes to educational equity and cultural diversity. In recent years, the program was expanded to honor the legacy of Leonard Baca, a fellow well-regarded researcher in education equity. 

Professor Miramontes was CU Boulder’s first Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity, a Professor in the School of Education, and bilingual education scholar. As Associate Vice Chancellor, she created the CU-LEAD Alliance and established an undergraduate scholarship program for first-generation college students and students of color. Inspired by her example, the Miramontes Doctoral Scholars Program in the School of Education recruits and doctoral scholars who are committed to research careers focused on educational equity and cultural diversity. 

The Miramontes Baca Doctoral Scholars Program was established through a generous gift by Bill Barclay, Ofelia’s husband at the time of her death and longtime support of the School of Education. The program continues today through a collaboration between the CU Boulder Provost, the School of Education, and Bill and Connie Barclay, and the Barclays extended the program to honor Leonard Baca. 

Leonard BacaProfessor Baca initiated the field of bilingual special education in the early 1980s and became known as “the father of bilingual special education." Bilingual special edcuation aims to address the overrepresentation of bilingual children in special education classes and a general misunderstanding of the differences between language and learning issues in bilingual and general education.

Hired as an assistant professor of education in 1974, Baca also created the BUENO Center for Multicultural Education, the first center in the School of Education which continues to be a thriving part of graduate studies at CU Boulder today. During his tenure as director, the BUENO Center generated more than $100 million to fund programs for educators and to provide education access to first-generation students, including students of color from minoritized communities seeking GEDs to PhDs.

Funding, Application Process and Selection 

The Miramontes Baca Doctoral Scholars Program features a combination of additional faculty mentoring, peer-networking through informal social events for Miramontes scholars, plus a dissertation-year stipend to focus solely on your dissertation. This support includes annual stipends equal to the cost of tuition (in-state as well as out-of-state).

Admission to the program competitive. Prospective students from underrepresented groups and those who are first-generation college graduates are encouraged to apply.

Applicants for our PhD programs must apply through the CU Boulder Graduate School Application. Application forms for the Miramontes Baca Scholars Fellowship are available as a supplemental document of the application.

Program finalists and Miramontes Baca applicants must meet the following screening criteria:

  1. Are from underrepresented groups and/or are first generation college graduates.

  2. Would be very likely to succeed in our program.

    Once criteria #1 and #2 are met, scholars will be evaluated based on their ability and intentions to:

  3. Pursue research focused on educational equity and social justice; or

  4. Pursue issues of second language acquisition and schooling.