Marissa Elena Thompson


Assistant Professor of Sociology

Columbia University

marissa.thompson [at] columbia [dot] edu

Knox Hall

606 W. 122nd Street

New York, NY 10027


Welcome! My name is Marissa Thompson and I am an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Columbia University. My research focuses on the causes and consequences of racial and socioeconomic inequality, with an emphasis on understanding the role of education in shaping disparate outcomes over the life-course. My current research explores, for example, the Black gender gap in educational attainment, parental choice of segregated schools, and the causal effects of a Michigan scholarship policy on college access. 

Methodologically, I employ descriptive and quasi-experimental quantitative methods using large national datasets, administrative data, survey data, and novel survey experiments. 


In addition to research on inequality, education, and social policy, I’m excited about running, podcasts, and Big Ten football.



Kaylee T. Matheny*, Marissa E. Thompson*, Carrie Townley Flores*, and Sean F. Reardon. "Uneven Progress: Recent Trends in Academic Performance Among U.S. School Districts". Forthcoming at American Education Research Journal.



Marissa E. Thompson. "Grade Expectations: The role of first-year grades in predicting the pursuit of STEM majors for first- and continuing-generation students". The Journal of Higher Education. [Link]

Sorathan Chaturapruek, Tobias Dalberg, Marissa E. Thompson, Sonia Giebel, Monique H. Harrison, Ramesh Johari, Mitchell L. Stevens, and René Kizilcec. "Studying Undergraduate Course Consideration at Scale". AERA Open. [Link]


Adina D. Sterling, Marissa E. Thompson, Shiya Wang, Abisola Kusimo, Shannon Gilmartin, and Sheri Sheppard. "The Confidence Gap Predicts the Gender Pay Gap Among STEM Graduates". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). [Link]


Shannon K. Gilmartin, Marissa E. Thompson, Emily Morton, Helen Chen, Anne Colby, and Sheri D. Sheppard. "Entrepreneurial Intent of Engineering and Business Undergraduate Students". Journal of Engineering Education. [Link]


Ki Jun Yu, Duygu Kuzum, Suk Won Hwang, Bong Hoon Kim, Halvor Juul, Nam Heon Kim, Sang Min Won, Ken Chiang, Michael Trumpis, Andrew G. Richardson, Huanyu Cheng, Hui Fang, Marissa E. Thompson, Hank Bink, Delia Talos, Kyung Jin Seo, Hee Nam Lee, Seung Kyun Kang, Jae Hwan Kim, Jung Yup Lee, Younggang Huang, Frances E. Jensen, Marc A. Dichter, Timothy H. Lucas, Jonathan Viventi, Brian Litt, and John A. Rogers. "Bioresorbable silicon electronics for transient spatiotemporal mapping of electrical activity from the cerebral cortex". Nature Materials. [Link]

Working Papers


Works in Progress

Marissa E. Thompson* and Sam Trejo*. "Not in My School District: Experimental Evidence on the Effect of Information on Parental Preferences Regarding School Segregation". [Link]

Marissa E. Thompson. "Examining the Black Gender Gap in Educational Attainment: The Role of Institutional Punishment". 

Adina D. Sterling and Marissa E. Thompson. "How Early Career Experience and Race Influence Entry into Good Jobs: A Correspondence Study During the COVID-19 Pandemic"

Marissa E. Thompson, Tobias Dalberg, and Elizabeth Bruch. "Curricular Blind Spots: How Course Characteristics and Gender Shape Undergraduate Course Consideration".

Marissa E. Thompson. "Parental Preferences for Status, Resources, and Student Body Composition: Results from a Survey Experiment"

Marissa E. Thompson. "The Impact of School District Secession on Student Achievement and Racial/Socioeconomic Achievement Gaps"

* denotes equal authorship


Doctor of Philosophy


Sociology of Education & Education Policy


Master of Arts




Bachelor of Science & Engineering


Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering