Making Your Way Through the Doldrums
    December 11, 2017

    The Council of Graduate Schools Ph.D. Completion Project found 10-year Ph.D. completion rates to range around only 50 to 65 percent, depending on field. The project, which collected data on 29 institutions, discovered that the reasons people leave Ph.D. programs are complex, but that few students drop out because they are intellectually incapable of doing the work. Stress, lack of financial support and problematic relationships with faculty members are among the factors cited to explain the remarkable rate at which students who have successfully completed other educational challenges leave graduate school.


    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.