Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

First Committee Member

Jerry Simich

Number of Pages



This thesis explores the controversial question of affirmative action in higher education. The United States Supreme Court's recent ruling in Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S.---(2003) and Gratz v. Bollinger, 529 U.S.---(2003) is sparking a resurgence of debate over the issue. Both Grutter and Gratz filed lawsuits claiming that the University of Michigan affirmative action plan violated their right to equal protection of the laws because it served as a form of reverse discrimination by considering race in the admissions process. While the University of Michigan defended its use of affirmative action in higher education by citing the need for a diverse campus which originated in Justice Powell's opinion in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978). The Supreme Court's recent decision in these two cases has changed the nature of affirmative action making it a policy that no longer focuses solely on race but instead, looks at a variety of factors when deciding which applicants to admit.


Action; Affirmative; Inquiry; Legal; Philosophical

Controlled Subject

Political science; Education--Philosophy; Education, bilingual

File Format


File Size

2437.12 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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