Reporting on Race and Ethnicity Glossary

The Reporting on Race/Ethnicity Glossary outlines common definitions and resources for reporting on race/ethnicity and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

It will clarify how we report various DEI terms across various submissions and dashboards at Emory University. The glossary of terms and resources is used for external and internal reporting with a focus on the US Department of Education, NSF, NIH, and OFCCP.

Following are common definitions and resources used by Emory’s Office of Institutional Research and Decision Support for reporting on race, ethnicity, and non-citizen status as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion.


CategoryValueDefinition from Official Resource


US Definitions for New Race/Ethnicity Categories

US Data Collection Systems Race/Ethnicity FAQs
Hispanic or LatinoA person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
American Indian or Alaska NativeA person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community attachment.
AsianA person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Black or African AmericanA person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific IslanderA person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
WhiteA person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
Nonresident alien (International)A person who is not a citizen or national of the United States and who is in this country on a visa or temporary basis and does not have the right to remain indefinitely. Note: Nonresident aliens are to be reported separately in the places provided, rather than in any of the racial/ethnic categories described above.
Resident alien (and other eligible non-citizens)A person who is not a citizen or national of the United States but who has been admitted as a legal immigrant for the purpose of obtaining permanent resident alien status (and who holds either an alien registration card (Form I-551 or I-151), a Temporary Resident Card (Form I-688), or an Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94) with a notation that conveys legal immigrant status such as Section 207 Refugee, Section 208 Asylee, Conditional Entrant Parolee or Cuban-Haitian). Note: Resident aliens are to be reported in the appropriate racial/ethnic categories along with United States citizens.
Two or more races“Two or more races” is a REPORTING category only and is not permissible to be used as a collection category.
Race/ethnicity unknownThe category used to report students or employees whose race and ethnicity are not known.


Historically underrepresented groups

Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis; Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as those who meet two or more of the following criteria:

  1. Were or currently are homeless, as defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act;
  2. Were or currently are in the foster care system, as defined by the Administration for Children and Families; 3. Were eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program for two or more years;
  3. Have/had no parents or legal guardians who completed a bachelor’s degree;
  4. Were or currently are eligible for Federal Pell grants;
  5. Received support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) as a parent or child;
  6. Grew up in one of the following areas: (a) a S. rural area, as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer, or (b) a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-designated Low-Income and Health Professional Shortage Areas (qualifying zip codes are included in the file). Only one of the two possibilities in No. 7 can be used as a criterion for the disadvantaged background definition.

Students from low socioeconomic (SES) status backgrounds have been shown to obtain bachelor’s and advanced degrees at significantly lower rates than students from middle and high SES groups, and are subsequently less likely to be represented in biomedical research.

Woman from the above backgrounds face particular challenges at the graduate level and beyond in scientific fields.

HUGS (Emory)

Historically underrepresented groups

Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.

HUGS is the term Emory has chosen to replace underrepresented minorities (URM) or underrepresented groups (URG).


Underrepresented minority groupBlack or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.

Minority (Emory)

MinorityEmory term including individuals from the following race or ethnicity groups: American Indian, Asian, Black/African-American, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and Multiracial.


COACHE Faculty Job Satisfaction Project

People of color/faculty of color/students of colorAny respondent identified by his or her institution or self-identifying in the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) survey of as non-White.

IPEDS Reference Table

These reporting categories are based on Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (UPEDS) race/ethnicity rollups only. By moving to race/ethnicity by detail, we will be able to disaggregate "Nonresident Alien/International" and "Two or More Races/Multiracial" into their appropriate URM/HUGS classifications based on the detail provided.

chart that references underrepresented minorities, historically underrepresented groups, minority and people, faculty, students of color categories

Additional Information

Download a copy of the reporting glossary and view common diversity, equity, and inclusion terms and definitions.