Date Submitted


Faculty Advisor

Esperanza Anaya, PhD

Second Faculty Advisor

Leah Barreca, PhD

Third Faculty Advisor

Sarah E. Getch, PhD


Racism is still present in today’s society and can be experienced by members of diverse groups. Microaggressions, or hostile slights based upon an individual’s membership of a marginalized group, can be detrimental to a victim’s physical and mental health (Sue et al., 2007). Undergraduate- and graduate-level students may experience microaggressions on their college campus which can negatively affect their health along as well as their academic performance (Lilly et al., 2018; Maslow et al., 2011; Nadal et al., 2014; Sanchez et al., 2018). Student perpetrators of microaggressions may also carry these attitudes on into their professional careers, which could then harm their future patients (Espaillat et al., 2019). This study examined qualitative data provided by graduate-level students attending Kansas City University in order to analyze the types and themes of microaggressions experienced on KCU campuses. Qualitative data was collected from the Kansas City University Campus Climate Study in the form of student responses, and responses were hand-coded by the author and categorized into specific themes through thematic analysis. It was predicted that microaggression themes on KCU campuses will be similar to the research regarding microaggressions experienced by undergraduate- and graduate-level students, and, because KCU is a medical school, there will be microaggression themes present that are common in clinician/client relationships, such as apprehension to discuss LGBTQIA+ healthcare and pervasive stereotypes (Smith et al., 2017; Snyder et al., 2018). Diverse students often experience microaggressions on college campuses that present differently than those in the general population, and student perpetrators may carry on these attitudes into their future careers. Furthering the understanding of what microaggression themes are present on college campuses could be beneficial to the development of future diversity trainings for medical students.