2017 Press Releases

    New Report Highlights Growing Role of Learning Outcomes in U.S. Doctoral Education (11/27/2017)

    Universities and the graduate education community are paying closer attention to the intended learning outcomes of doctoral education, according to a new report from the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS). Once associated with undergraduate education, learning outcomes—the knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies that a degree holder can expect to attain by the end of a degree program—are becoming more central to graduate programs, including PhD programs. The finding is based on a CGS study supported by Lumina Foundation that involved surveys, interviews with leaders in higher education, and a day-long convening of higher education leaders.


    Healthy Growth in Master’s Enrollment Continues at U.S. Graduate Schools (9/28/2017)

    The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) reported continued growth in total graduate enrollment, first-time enrollments, number of applications, and degrees conferred at U.S. universities in its report, CGS/GRE Graduate Enrollment & Degrees: 2006-2016. The majority of growth in Fall 2016 continues to be in programs leading to master’s degrees, which comprise 82.5% of degrees awarded in 2015-16. In addition, the number of graduate certificates awarded by institutions participating in the survey increased by 11.8% between 2014-15 and 2015-16, suggesting that a growing number of students see the value in these micro-credentials.


    New Recommendations Aim to Improve Ethics in International Research Collaborations (9/19/2017)

    The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) released new recommendations for educating graduate students on the ethical conduct of research in international collaborations. The report, Research Ethics Education in Graduate International Collaborations, represents the culmination of three years of collaborative research, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF #1135345). In addition to recommendations for deans, the report includes a set of learning outcomes for doctoral students, case studies based on successful programs, and an online repository of assessment tools.


    Statement by CGS President Suzanne Ortega Regarding the Trump Administration’s Decision on DACA (9/5/2017)

    “We believe that the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects nearly 800,000 young, undocumented people brought to the U.S. as children, will hurt the American economy and our institutions of higher education."


    Coalition of Universities Selected to Gather Data about PhD Career Pathways (7/24/2017)

    Twenty-nine universities have been selected to participate in a collective effort to gather and use data about the careers of PhD students and alumni, the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) announced today. Grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF grant #1661272) and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will support data collection about PhD careers in STEM and humanities fields.


    Statement by CGS President Suzanne Ortega on the President’s FY 2018 Budget (5/25/2017)

    "At a time when our fastest growing occupations and knowledge-based economy requires more, not fewer, individuals with advanced degrees, the President’s budget overlooks the importance of education as a critical component of America’s competitiveness in a global market. Master’s and doctoral education is the backbone of America’s national security and economic strength: graduate degree holders develop the knowledge and innovations that make America a leader in healthcare, technology, and defense. The President’s budget continues the trend of the past several years by proposing policies that make graduate education less affordable. The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) supports efforts to strengthen and grow America’s economic future, but not at the expense of our master’s and doctoral students. CGS calls upon Congress’ to put forward a budget that makes a strong commitment to education, and does not create barriers for students who seek master’s and doctoral degrees."


    CGS Announces Multi-University Project to Understand Career Pathways of STEM PhD Students and Alumni (3/20/2017)

    The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) has been awarded a major grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF #1661272) to help universities collect data on the career pathways of PhDs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Through a competitive sub-award process, CGS will select doctoral institutions to implement surveys of STEM PhD students and alumni, gathering information about their professional aspirations, career pathways, and career preparation. The project complements a parallel endeavor to collect and analyze data on humanities PhDs through a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


    The Humanities: Key to America's Past and Future (3/17/2017)

    Released this week, the Trump Administration’s FY2018 budget, “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). As one of the organizations that recommended the founding of NEH, we affirm our belief that humanistic study and professional activities are in the national interest and merit continued federal funding support.


    Updated: CGS Statement Regarding Administration’s Executive Order on Immigration (3/7/2017)

    Following is a statement by Council of Graduate Schools President Suzanne Ortega. "In response to the March 6th Executive Order on Immigration, the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) continues to affirm that our nation’s security is paramount and a strong visa process contributes to our safety. However, as an organization of approximately 500 universities, we also believe that the modified ban is still likely to have unintended consequences on U.S. graduate students and their institutions.  Although this revision reduces the scope of the January 27th order, international graduate students and scholars, regardless of country of origin, may continue to view the uncertainty regarding visa policies as a deterrent to pursuing graduate studies in the United States."


    Report Recommends Broader Professional Development for Graduate Students in STEM Fields (2/27/2017)

    Graduate schools and programs play a key role in preparing students for the knowledge workforce, but more work needs to be done, according to a new report by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS). Currently, the preparation of US graduate students is too narrowly focused on academic research skills, at the expense of professional skills such as communication, teamwork, mentoring, and leadership.


    Rate of First-Time Enrollment Holds Steady at 5% for International Graduate Students at U.S. Institutions (2/9/2017)

    New data from the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) reveal that first-time international graduate enrollment increased by 5% in Fall 2016, the same rate of growth seen last year. Yet U.S. institutions saw a lag in growth in the total number of international graduate applications, from 3% in 2015 to 1% in 2016.


    CGS Statement Regarding Administration’s Executive Order on Immigration (1/30/2017)

    Following is a statement by Council of Graduate Schools President Suzanne Ortega. "Our nation’s security is paramount and a strong visa process contributes to our safety. However, as an organization of approximately 500 universities, we encourage the administration to reconsider the executive order barring entry or return of individuals from specific countries."


    CGS is the leading source of information, data analysis, and trends in graduate education. Our benchmarking data help member institutions to assess performance in key areas, make informed decisions, and develop plans that are suited to their goals.
    CGS Best Practice initiatives address common challenges in graduate education by supporting institutional innovations and sharing effective practices with the graduate community. Our programs have provided millions of dollars of support for improvement and innovation projects at member institutions.
    As the national advocate for graduate education, CGS serves as a resource for policymakers and others on issues concerning graduate education, research, and scholarship. CGS members receive regular updates of legislative and regulatory proposals impacting graduate education and are provided resources to use in advocacy efforts on their campuses and with policymakers and other constituents. 
    CGS is an authority on global trends in graduate education and a leader in the international graduate community. Our resources and meetings on global issues help members internationalize their campuses, develop sustainable collaborations, and prepare their students for a global future.