U.S. Higher Education: Graduate school enrollment from 2004-2014

September 17, 2015

Educational

U.S. Higher Education: Graduate school enrollment from 2004-2014

First-time doctoral enrollment in history, English, and other arts-and-humanities disciplines fell 0.5 percent from 2013 to 2014.

Doctoral enrollment for all fields increased an average annual rate of 1.2 percent during that time period, and grew almost 2.0 percent from 2013 to 2014.

_____

The Council of Graduate Schools/GRE Survey of Graduate Enrollment and Degrees

The CGS/GRE Survey of Graduate Enrollment and Degrees is jointly sponsored by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) and the Graduate Record
Examinations (GRE) Board. Conducted annually since 1986, the survey is designed to provide information about applications for admission to
graduate school, graduate student enrollment, and graduate degrees and certificates conferred.

Both CGS and GRE believe that graduate education is a vital part of U.S. higher education and that providing an annual examination of trends in graduate applications, enrollment, and degrees by broad field of study, degree level, and demographics, is essential for understanding the graduate education enterprise.

The CGS/GRE Survey of Graduate Enrollment and Degrees is the only national survey that collects data on first-time and total graduate enrollment by all fields of graduate study. It is also the only source of data on graduate enrollment by degree level (master’s versus doctoral) and the only national survey that collects data on applications to graduate school by broad field of study.

More than 1.7 million graduate students were enrolled in graduate certificate, education specialist, master’s, or doctoral programs at U.S. graduate schools in Fall 2014, according to institutions responding to the 2014 CGS/GRE Survey of Graduate Enrollment and Degrees. Although total graduate enrollment has declined slightly since reaching its peak in 2009, the 2014 survey established several new watermarks for the graduate education enterprise.

For the first time since the survey was launched in 1986, the number of applications received by responding institutions eclipsed two million.

Moreover, the 479,642 incoming graduate students for Fall 2014 set a new record for firsttime enrollment. This section will highlight the state of graduate education with respect to applications for admission for Fall 2014, first-time and total enrollment in Fall 2014, and graduate degrees and certificates conferred in the 2013-14 academic year.

First-time enrollment is a common indicator of trends in graduate enrollment. A total of 479,642 graduate students enrolled for the first time in graduate certificate, education specialist, master’s, or doctoral programs in Fall 2014 according to the institutions responding to the CGS/GRE Survey of Graduate Enrollment and Degrees.

The majority (83.2%) of all first-time graduate students in Fall 2014 were enrolled in programs leading to a master’s degree or a graduate certificate.

Grad School

Grad School

First-Time Enrollment—Includes the number of students enrolled for the first time in graduate certificate, education specialist, master’s, or doctoral programs for the fall term. Data are collected by fine field, degree level (master’s/other vs. doctoral), gender, race/ethnicity, citizenship, and enrollment intensity (full-time vs. part-time).

Total Enrollment—Includes the total number of
students enrolled (first-time and continuing students) in graduate certificate, education specialist, master’s, or doctoral programs for the fall term. Data are collected by fine field, degree level (master’s/other
vs. doctoral), gender, race/ethnicity, citizenship, and enrollment intensity (full-time vs. part-time).

Degrees—Includes the number of master’s and doctoral degrees and post-baccalaureate and postmaster’s certificates awarded in the U.S. in a given
academic year (July 1 through June 30). Degree data are collected by fine field, degree level (graduate certificate, master’s, and doctoral), and
gender. The survey does not collect degree data by race/ethnicity or citizenship

Grad School

Research Universities (high research activity) (RU/H)—Universities with high research activity
that award at least 20 doctorates per year.

Doctoral/Research Universities—Other universities that award at least 20 doctorates per year.

Master’s Colleges and Universities—Institutions that award at least 50 master’s degrees and fewer
than 20 doctorates per year.

Other—Includes baccalaureate institutions awarding fewer than 50 master’s degrees or 20 doctorates per
year, as well as institutions awarding graduate degrees where a high concentration of degrees is in a single field or set of related fields (e.g., theological seminaries, medical schools, health profession schools, schools of engineering, etc.).

Grad School

Grad School

American Indian/Alaska Native—A U.S. citizen or permanent resident having origins in any of the
original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition.

Asian—A U.S. citizen or permanent resident having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far
East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Black/African American—A U.S. citizen or permanent resident having origins in any of the
black racial groups of Africa (except those of Hispanic origin).

Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander—A U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or national having
origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific islands.

Hispanic/Latino—A U.S. citizen or permanent resident of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race. This includes: Native Americans, whites, blacks, Asians and mixed races.

Grad School

Grad School

Grad School

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