Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Ciara Smalls-Glover

Second Advisor

Gabriel Kuperminc

Third Advisor

Kevin Swartout

Fourth Advisor

Mathew Gayman


Campus racial climate, including individual perceptions of interracial interactions between students and with faculty (Hurtado, Griffin, Arellano & Cuellar, 2008). African American students often report more discriminatory perceptions of campus racial climate than White, Latino and Asian American students (e.g., Reid & Radhakrishnan, 2003). Campus racial climate has implications for a range of academic outcomes during college (e.g., Fischer, 2010; Torregosa, Ynalvez, & Morin, 2015). Specifically, Black students report experiencing hostile racial climates on their college campuses from both peers and professors and this can influence academic outcomes such as student motivation (e.g., Byrd, 2015), GPA (Torregosa et al., 2015) and whether they graduate on time (Fischer, 2010). While much of the work on campus racial climate has examined racial differences, more work examining within group variation is needed to further explore the role of campus climate on academic outcomes for Black students. The current study seeks to examine whether individual perceptions of campus racial climate in college impacts academic self-concept and if racial identity moderates this relationship for Black college students. The current study seeks to add to a smaller body of work that has provided an exploration of multiple dimensions of individual perceptions of campus racial climate understanding of students’ perception of campus racial climate (e.g., Byrd & Chavous, 2011; Byrd & Chavous, 2012). The sample for the current study was collected as part of a larger longitudinal in the Eastern part of the United States. Inclusion criteria for the current study included 1) identifying as African American/Black (Black for at least one racial group), 2) being a college student 1 year after high school. The final sample for the current included 144 participants, 65% of who identified as female. While campus racial climate was not a significant predictor of academic self-concept, students who attended HBCUs reported higher academic self-concept than students who attended PWIs. Private regard also positively predicted academic self-concept in the current sample. These findings have implications for the positive impact racial identity has on academic outcomes for African American youth. Implications and future directions will be discussed.