International Graduate Admissions Rise 9 Percent
    August 22, 2013

    Contact:
    Nate Thompson
    nthompson@cgs.nche.edu
    (202) 223-3791

     

    Today the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) reported that initial offers of admission from U.S. graduate schools to prospective international students increased 9% from 2012 to 2013, following an increase of 9% last year. The new data marks the fourth consecutive year of growth in international graduate admissions.

     

    In contrast to previous years, however, the report uncovered a wider divergence between applications and offers of admissions trends. For fall 2013, the final overall growth in the number of applications was 2%—much lower than the stronger gains of 9% in 2012 and 11% in 2011—even as the year-to-year increases in initial offers of admission have remained steady over the 2010-2013 period.

     

    Debra. W. Stewart, President of the Council of Graduate Schools, commented that “For now, the year-to-year decline in applications has not appeared to have a measurable impact on the overall number of international students who are offered admission to U.S. graduate programs. This is a sign that U.S. graduate programs continue to see international applicants to U.S. graduate programs as competitive, high-caliber students.”

     

    Admissions trends by country

     

    The increase in the overall number of offers of admission to U.S. graduate schools was driven by a 27% increase in initial offers of admission to prospective students from India, a sharp turn upward following the previous year, in which there was no change in offers of admission to prospective students from that country. Admission offers also grew by 5% to prospective students from China, even though there was a 3% decline in the number of applications from that country. The data for fall 2013 marks the eighth year in a row of increases in the number of offers of admission for prospective Chinese students. Offers of admission to students from the Middle East rose 12%, marking the sixth year of significant growth, and offers of admission to Brazilian students rose 46%. (It should be noted that offers of admission to prospective students from Brazil make up only 1% of the total number of offers of admission to prospective international students.) However, offers of admission to students from South Korea, the third largest sending country of international students to U.S. graduate programs, declined 10%.

     

    Admissions trends by field

     

    The survey results show that initial offers of admission increased in all broad fields of study except the life sciences and education, where numbers of admissions declined by 4% and 3% respectively. Engineering, physical and earth sciences, and ‘other fields’ saw the largest increases in admissions offers, with gains of 16%, 11%, and 10% respectively. Gains also occurred in arts and humanities (7%), business (3%), and social sciences and psychology (3%).

     

    Admissions trends by institution size

     

    Increases in international offers of admission in 2013 were equally strong overall at institutions awarding larger numbers of graduate degrees to international students and at institutions awarding smaller numbers of graduate degrees to international students, with both cohorts showing a 9% increase in offers of admission to prospective international students. At institutions awarding larger numbers of graduate degrees to international students, stronger increases were seen on average for offers of admission to prospective graduate students from China, Mexico, and Europe. By contrast, increases in offers of admission to prospective graduate students from Brazil, India, Canada, and Africa were larger on average at the institutions outside the largest 100.

     

    Admissions trends by region

     

    As was the case last year, offers of admission by U.S. graduate schools to prospective international students increased in all four major regions of the United States. The Midwest saw the most growth (12%), followed by the West, the South, and the Northeast, with 11%, 8%, and 6% increases respectively.

     

    About the report

     

    Findings from the 2013 CGS International Graduate Admissions Survey, Phase II: Final Applications and Initial Offers of Admission is based on the second phase of a three-part annual survey of international graduate student applications, admissions, and enrollment among U.S. member institutions. The survey had a response rate of 57%, including 79 of the 100 institutions that award the largest number of graduate degrees to international students. The report is posted at http://www.cgsnet.org/benchmarking/international-graduate-admissions-survey.

     

     

    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.