College - Author 1

College of Liberal Arts

Department - Author 1

Social Sciences Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BA in Sociology



Primary Advisor

Robert Schaeffer


The purpose of this study is to use mixed methods research and grounded theory to determine what obstacles a predominantly White university contains for interracial couples. Previous research involving interracial couples on college campuses has only focused on quantitative surveys. A sample size of 234 students from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo participated in a quantitative survey as well as 12 interracial couples that were separately interviewed. This data was used to gain insight on interracial couples’ experiences on campus. The data revealed that Cal Poly students felt interracial couples were generally supported on campus. However, the racial or ethnic identity of certain partners within an interracial relationship determined their comfort level on campus. Understanding the experience of interracial couples on a college campus that lacks diversity will help open a dialogue on what difficulties many students face in this type of environment and what can be done to aid them.