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New Study on PhD Completion

posted by Christopher Howard — Sep 09, 2008

Inside Higher Ed reports that a new study from the Council of Graduate Schools reveals that significant gaps exist—by demographic groups and academic disciplines—in who finishes PhD programs. Generally, foreign, male, and white students are more likely to earn their doctorates after ten years than are their counterparts who are American, female, or minority. The study is part of the council’s PhD Completion Project, a seven-year, grant-funded initiative that addresses the issues surrounding PhD completion and attrition.

The report, PhD Completion and Attrition: Analysis of Baseline Demographic Data from the PhD Completion Project,  is the second in a series of monographs from the council. It focuses on ten-year and seven-year completion rates by demographic characteristics (gender, citizenship, and race/ethnicity) based on data, submitted by twenty-four institutions, on students who entered their PhD programs in academic years 1992–93 through 2003–4. The report presents cumulative and annual completion rates from various perspectives: overall, by field, by institution type, and by time of entry into the PhD program. Completion between years seven and ten is also discussed.

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