Named for Edward Alexander Bouchet, the first African American Ph.D. recipient in the United States, the Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society (Bouchet Society) recognizes outstanding scholarly achievement and promotes diversity and excellence in doctoral education and the professoriate. The Bouchet Society seeks to develop a network of preeminent scholars who exemplify academic and personal excellence, foster environments of support, and serve as examples of scholarship, leadership, character, service, and advocacy for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the academy. In the spirit of Bouchet’s commitment to these pursuits both within and without the academic realm, inductees into the honor society bearing his name should also exhibit these qualities.

About Edward A. Bouchet

Edward Bouchet (1852-1918) graduated from Yale College in 1874. He went on to be the first African American to earn a doctorate from an American university when he earned a Ph.D. in physics at Yale University in 1876. At that time, Bouchet was the sixth person in the western hemisphere to earn a doctorate in physics. He was also one of the first African Americans to be elected to the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.

Types of Membership

Membership into the Bouchet Honor Graduate Society is by application only and is approved by the National Steering Committee. The levels of membership are as listed below:

  • Doctoral Student Membership is available to any individual who is currently a doctoral student in good academic standing, and through initial research achievement in a humanities, social sciences, or sciences field has shown outstanding promise as a scholar, as evidenced by independent investigation or current work on a dissertation project.

  • Post-Doctoral Membership is available to any individual who has received their Ph.D. degree over the last six years, and through initial research achievement in a humanities, social sciences, or sciences field has shown outstanding promise as a scholar, as evidenced by independent investigation, completion of the dissertation and publications.

  • Faculty Membership is conferred upon any individual who has shown noteworthy achievement as a scholar and exemplar of the Bouchet Society’s mission. The faculty should currently hold an appointment in the humanities, social sciences, or sciences fields, with a record of publication and evidence of research and teaching in their field of study. Individuals who are invited to membership have (by virtue of their scholarship, research, teaching, and service) shown their commitment to ensuring excellence and equity in graduate education.
    NOTE: Consideration for this membership is by nomination only.

  • Alumni Membership is conferred upon any individual who has shown noteworthy achievement as a scholar and exemplar of the Bouchet Society’s mission in the humanities, social sciences, or sciences fields and who has received their PhD from the member institution. Individuals who are invited to membership have (by virtue of their scholarship, research, teaching and service) shown their commitment to ensuring excellence and equity in graduate education.
    NOTE: Consideration for this membership is by nomination only.

  • Lifetime or Honorary Membership is conferred upon any individual who has shown outstanding and noteworthy achievement as a scholar and exemplar of the Bouchet Society’s mission in the humanities, social sciences, or sciences fields. Individuals who are invited to membership have (by virtue of their scholarship, research, teaching and service) shown their commitment to ensuring excellence and equity in graduate education.
    NOTE: Consideration for this membership is by nomination only.

Application

Student and Postdoc Application Process:

Membership into the Bouchet Graduate Honor Society is by application only and is approved by the National Steering Committee. All nominees must be ABD, having completed their qualifying exam, orals, qualifying papers or equivalent before submitting all materials listed below.

  1. Completed Bouchet Graduate Honor Society nomination forms (which can be found in the application) from each of the following:
    • The nominee's dissertation advisor or committee member
    • A graduate faculty member or administrator with knowledge of the candidate's leadership and character attributes
  2. Current unofficial transcript
  3. A current Curriculum Vitae or résumé
  4. 250-word dissertation or research abstract
  5. Statement of purpose (2-page maximum) from the candidate indicating: Educational and career accomplishments
    • Future professional goals
    • Past and current academic experience
    • Ways in which they have and will continue to fulfill the five thrusts of scholarship, character, leadership, service, and advocacy
    • How the candidate's educational accomplishments will contribute to the mission of the Bouchet Society

The Student and Postdoc application form can be found at the following link: Bouchet Society Student and Postdoc Application

Application materials should be submitted as a single PDF document to the Office of Graduate Diversity Initiatives. Subject line should read: Bouchet Application Package-Last name, First name

Invited Membership Procedures (Faculty, Alumni, and Life or Honorary Members):

Consideration for these membership categories is by nomination only. Nomination Forms cannot be completed by the candidate: Bouchet Society Faculty, Alumni, and Life or Honorary Member Nomination Form.

Faculty, Alumni, and Life or Honorary Members should submit the following upon receipt of invitation:

  1. Curriculum vitae or résumé
  2. Selected publication for the Bouchet Journal
  3. Personal statement depicting anticipated contributions to the Bouchet Society

The application cycle is now closed. Please check back for future terms. Thank You! 

Application materials should be submitted as a single PDF document to the Office of Graduate Diversity Initiatives. Subject line should read: Bouchet Application Invitation-Last name, First name

Selection Process

  • Upon receipt of completed application materials for nominees, the Membership Selection Committee will review all applications.
  • The Membership Selection Committee will then provide a recommendation of inductees for consideration to the National Steering Committee.
  • The National Steering Committee reviews all nominated applications submitted from chapter institutions and reserves the right to approve or decline membership into the Bouchet Society.

Timeline

  • December 1: Application information and materials available on-line
  • February 1: Deadline for receipt of nomination letters and application materials
  • March 1: Announcement of new members
  • March/April: Annual Inaugural Induction Ceremony at Yale's annual Bouchet Conference on Diversity and Graduate Education

Chapter Institutions

One national charter with two chapters was inaugurated by Yale University and Howard University on September 15, 2005, in commemoration of Bouchet’s birthday. Please refer to the charter regarding the eligibility requirements and application process for obtaining individual membership in the society or establishing an institutional chapter.

  • Yale University*
  • Howard University*
  • Cornell University
  • Rutgers University
  • The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  • The George Washington University
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of Miami
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Washington University, St. Louis
  • University of Florida

*Denotes Founding Chapters