2012 Reports

    Data Sources: Measuring Interdisciplinarity

    July 2012

    Interdisciplinary study has long been a feature of graduate education and research, but measuring the scope and determining the nature of interdisciplinarity has proven a challenge for survey researchers. Three major data collection efforts on graduate education—the CGS/GRE Survey of Graduate Enrollment and Degrees, the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and the National Science Foundation’s Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering—use taxonomies of fields of study to collect and analyze enrollment and degree data. While this is an efficient method for characterizing enrollment and degrees in programs of study that are based in a single discipline, it is somewhat less effective for measuring interdisciplinarity.


    Data Sources: Graduate Student Loans and Debt

    June 2012

    Student loan debt in the United States is at a record high. In February 2012, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released data indicating that student loan debt reached $867 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, exceeding the $704 billion Americans owed in credit card debt (Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 2012). The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau puts the student loan debt figure even higher, reporting in March 2012 that student loan debt is estimated to exceed $1 trillion (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 2012). While the exact amount owed in student loans may be in question, it is clear that Americans collectively owe a tremendous amount of money in student loans.


    Data Sources: Results from the 2012 CGS Pressing Issues Survey

    May 2012

    Graduate deans report that their top pressing issues in 2012 are about recruitment, admissions, and enrollment management, according to the Council of Graduate Schools’ (CGS) annual Pressing Issues Survey. Each year, CGS asks graduate deans at member institutions to identify the three most important or “pressing” issues or challenges they currently face. The findings from this Pressing Issues Survey inform CGS about the concerns of graduate deans and help to shape sessions at Summer Workshops, Annual Meetings, and other forums, as well as future best practices projects. The survey has been conducted annually as part of the CGS International Graduate Admissions Survey, Phase I: Applications since 2004 and through the CGS membership survey and other surveys in prior years.


    2012 CGS International Graduate Admissions Survey, Phase I: Applications

    April 2012

    The results of the latest International Graduate Admissions Survey show that applications increased 9% between 2011 and 2012.


    Data Sources: A Profile of McNair Scholars

    April 2012

    The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, also known as the McNair Scholars Program, is the largest federal effort aimed at preparing low-income, first-generation in college and minority undergraduates to pursue doctoral studies. The McNair Scholars Program is funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s TRIO programs and provides participants with research internships, faculty mentors, opportunities to present and publish results of their research, undergraduate teaching experience, and assistance with applying to and preparing for graduate school.


    Data Sources: Strong Employment Growth Expected for Graduate Degree Recipients

    March 2012

    Individuals with graduate degrees will be in growing demand over the next several years, according to new employment projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These projections are part of BLS’ biennial examination of expected long-term changes in employment by occupation, industry, level of education, and demographics. The data provide a comprehensive outlook of employment in the United States through 2020.


    Data Sources: The Role of Community Colleges on the Pathway to Graduate Degree Attainment

    January/February 2012

    For many students, the academic journey leading to a graduate degree starts with community college. These institutions provide access to higher education for students who in some cases may not yet even realize that a master’s degree or a doctorate is attainable. For other students, community colleges provide an affordable and/or a convenient means of earning college credit prior to enrolling, or even while enrolled, in a four-year institution.leges on the Pathway to Graduate Degree Attainment


    Enrollment and Degrees in Professional Science Master’s (PSM) Programs: 2011

    January 2012

    The 2011 Professional Science Master’s Enrollment and Degrees Survey collects data on overall enrollment and degrees awarded in Professional Science Master’s (PSM) programs. It is the second such survey conducted by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) with a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.


    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 voice for graduate education, CGS serves as a resource on issues regarding graduate education, research, and scholarship. CGS collaborates with other national stakeholders to advance the graduate education community in the policy and advocacy arenas.  
    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.