October 3, 2012
Degree Completion in Doctoral Education
One of the main concerns for graduate schools is the attrition and completion of doctoral students. CIRGE has carried out diverse studies to analyze the patterns that intervene in the doctoral completion.
Review here the main studies
This study examined time-to-degree at the University of California in order to determine if students took longer on average to complete their doctoral degrees than they did 20 years ago. It presents factors which may have led to long time-to-degree, addresses underlying structural reasons for prolonged time-to-degree among all students and examines whether or not these factors influence ethnic minorities and women in particular
Nerad, M. “Doctoral Education at the University of California and Factors Affecting Time-to-Degree.” In response to the California State Senate (SRC 66). Report to the Office of the President. Oakland, CA. June 1991.
In attempting to compare doctoral times-to-completion and completion rates for institutions in different countries, it was found that issues of definitions and data availability are major stumbling blocks. National and institutional contexts also complicate matters. Because of these complications, comparisons are difficult to make, but it might be possible to account for these confounding issues to gain some insights from such comparisons.
Hall, F., Evans, B. and Nerad, M. 2006 Feasibility of International Comparisons of PhD Program Time-to-Degree and Completion Rates. Unpublished article.
Download: Feasibility of International Comparisons