Council of Graduate Schools - Ph.D. Completion Project  
Project Information Project Participants Quantitative Data Promising Practices
Search

Resources

For additional research information on graduate degree completion, attrition and persistence please refer to the bibliography below. If there are additional Web links or bibliographical sources pertinent to these topics that you would like to recommend for inclusion in this resource section, please send an email to: phdcompletion@cgs.nche.edu.

Presentations
Web Links
Bibliography


Presentations

Ph.D. Completion Project featured at the 2009 CGS Summer Workshop:

July 14, 2009
Technical Workshop: PhD Completion Project
Deans from research partner institutions led a discussion on implementation of the student exit survey and uses of survey data to improve doctoral education. CGS staff reported on findings from surveys conducted between 2005 and 2008.

Click on the links below to view the PowerPoint presentations.

Sheila Kirby (149 KB)

Nancy Marcus (418 KB)

Janet Rutledge (1.05 MB)

Ph.D. Completion Project featured at the 2008 CGS Annual Meeting:

December 4, 2008
Concurrent Session: Online Systems for Tracking Student Progress
Several of the Research Partners in the PhD Completion Project are developing and implementing electronic tracking systems in an effort to improve student completion and reduce attrition. These systems collect data and provide reports which are used by faculty and students in periodic reviews of students’ progress towards degree completion. Representatives of three Research Partners reported on the implementation of electronic tracking systems as part of the PhD Completion Project at their institutions.

Click on the links below to view the PowerPoint presentations.

Pamela Benoit (236 KB)

Nancy Marcus (166 KB)

Chontrese Doswell Hayes [ppt not yet available]

Ph.D. Completion Project featured at the 2008 CGS Summer Workshop:

July 15, 2008
Technical Workshop: Ph.D. Completion Project

This workshop included presentations by CGS Ph.D. Completion Project staff and deans from select Phase I and Phase II Research Partners. Robert Sowell, Director of the Ph.D. Completion Project, summarized the findings of the soon-to-be-released analysis of baseline demographic data from the project. Representatives from Purdue University, Cornell University and Yale University shared project updates and best practices based on interventions implemented at their universities.

Click on the links below to view the PowerPoint presentations.

Cindy Nakatsu
Purdue Ph.D. Completion Project: Phase I and II Mentoring and Professional Development

Robert Sowell
Technical Workshop Ph.D. Completion Project: CGS Summer Workshop

Ph.D. Completion Project featured at the CGS/NSF Workshop: A Fresh Look at Graduate Education:

March 31, 2008

The Council of Graduate Schools and the National Science Foundation Division of Graduate Education hosted “A Fresh Look at Ph.D. Education,” a workshop that convened leaders in graduate education, both in the U.S. and internationally, and representatives of federal agencies and disciplinary societies to focus on some key issues that will influence the future directions of doctoral education in the U.S. The morning session focused on what we know about Ph.D. completion and on approaches by universities and federal agencies to try to improve the completion rate in the U.S. More information about the meeting, including the agenda and presentations, is available on the CGS website.

Click on the links below to view the PowerPoint presentations.

William Russel
Ph.D. Education: A Focus on Completion

Robert Sowell
Ph. D. Completion and Attrition: Baseline Program Data

Lewis Siegel
Ph.D. Completion and Attrition at Duke University for Cohorts Entering Before and After Interventions

Claudia Mitchell-Kernan
Doctoral Attrition and Completion - UCLA


Ph.D. Completion Project featured at the 2007 CGS 47th Annual Meeting:

December 4, 2007
CGS Board of Directors Meeting

Project Director Robert Sowell gave a presentation on the analysis of the baseline program data from the Ph.D. Completion Project. The presentation shared highlights from the book "Ph.D. Completion and Attrition: Analysis of Baseline Program Data from the Ph.D. Completion Project", which is available in the CGS Online Bookstore.

December 5, 2007
Attrition and Completion: Facts, Figures, and Best Practices

The CGS Ph.D. Completion Project Research Partners and some of the Project Partners have collected attrition and completion data on students who entered doctoral programs over a 15 year period and identified interventions they will introduce to improve completion rates. Many of these institutions have conducted exit surveys of both completers and non-completers. This workshop focused on the effective use of these data to optimize Ph.D. degree completion. CGS project personnel described the project and presented example results from analysis of the data. Deans and associate deans from participating institutions gave concrete examples of how the data have been used on their campuses to improve completion rates.

Click on the links below to view the PowerPoint presentations.

Maureen Grasso
Utilizing Data to Foster Program-level Change

Lew Siegel
The Graduate School as an Agent of Programmatic Change: Ph.D. Completion at Duke University

Robert Sowell and Ting Zhang
Completion and Attrition: Program Baseline Data

December 7, 2007
Ph.D. Completion Data: Presentation and Analysis

The Council of Graduate Schools has been conducting a major study on the patterns of student completion and attrition in Ph.D. programs at a specifically selected set of Research and Project Partner Universities. The purpose of this project is to obtain real data on what those patterns actually are in various fields and types of institutions, and what practices can be implemented to improve the completion rate. This session focused on a report and analysis of baseline data from the Ph.D. Completion Project.

Click on the links below to view the PowerPoint presentations.

Lew Siegel
Ph.D. Completion and Attrition at Duke University for Cohorts Entering Before and After Interventions

Maureen Grasso
Utilizing Data to Foster Program-level Change

Robert Sowell
Ph. D. Completion and Attrition: Baseline Program Data


Ph.D. Completion Project featured at the 2007 CGS Summer Workshop:

July 11, 2007
Technical Workshop: Ph.D. Completion Project

This workshop included presentations by CGS Ph.D. Completion Project staff, and graduate deans and associate deans from select Phase I and Phase II Research Partners. Project staff summarized a recent study of the demographics of and funding for doctoral students and presented analysis of exit survey data and attrition/completion data that have not been previously presented at CGS meetings. Representatives from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Florida State University discussed ways they have used the attrition/completion data on their campuses and interventions they have implemented. A representative from Brown University discussed plans for the project as presented in the Phase II proposal.

Click on the links below to view two of the PowerPoint presentations.

Nancy Marcus and Judy Devine
PhD Completion Project of Florida State University: Phases I and II

Sheila Bonde
PhD Completion Project of Brown University: Overview and Plans


Ph.D. Completion Project featured at the 2006 CGS Annual Meeting:

December 6, 2006
Managing Completion and Attrition, Pre-Meeting Workshop

Outcome measures such as degree completion and job placement are playing an increasingly important role in the assessment of graduate programs. This workshop touched on measurement and analysis issues, but focused on the effective use of completion and attrition data to optimize degree completion. Speakers and participants shared concrete strategies and specific examples of emerging best practices in the administrative use of data and the enhancement of attrition patterns and completion rates.

Click on the link below to view the PowerPoint presentation by Daniel Denecke, Helen Frasier and Kenneth Redd.

Ph.D. Completion Project: Tools and Templates

December 8, 2006
Studying Completion and Attrition at Master's Institutions

Presenters discussed their own studies on master's students as completers or non-completers, issues of master's students in transition, and challenges involved in developing definitions of attrition and completion at master's institutions. The panel addressed the elements of the master's experience that can confuse or confound the effort to develop a national set of shared definitions of attrition by which master's programs can be meaningfully compared.

Click on the link below to view the PowerPoint presentation related to the Ph.D. Completion Project.

Daniel Denecke
The Ph.D. Completion Project: Implications for the Study of Master’s Degree Attrition

December 9, 2006
Ph.D. Completion Project Technical Workshop

This technical workshop focused on new funding opportunities available for both current participants and for new partners in the Ph.D. Completion Project. Topics included: utilitizing tools and templates for the collection and submission of data, establishing processes for verifying data, analyzing the role of institutional and program factors in Ph.D. attrition and completion, and designing a set of successful and integrated interventions to minimize attrition and increase Ph.D. completion for all students, particularly for women and underrepresented minorities across all programs. Characteristics of an effective proposal for Phase II participation were also discussed.

Technical Workshop Transcript

Click on the links below to view the PowerPoint presentations.

Daniel Denecke, Helen Frasier, and Kenneth Redd
The Ph.D. Completion Project: Phase II Technical Workshop

Daniel Denecke and Helen Frasier
The Ph.D. Completion Project Phase II (2007-2010) RFP: Eligibility and Requirements

Maureen Grasso
Strategic Intervention for Doctoral Completion


Ph.D. Completion Project featured at the 2006 CGS Summer Workshop for Graduate Deans:

July 11, 2006
Technical Workshop: Ph.D. Completion Project

In this technical workshop, CGS project staff will discuss a new Request for Proposals for the continuation of the Ph.D. Completion Project, and will briefly report on baseline project data and overall project activities. The three speakers will address: 1) institutional models for effectively using attrition/completion data to inform policies designed to optimize Ph.D. completion; 2) collaborations among graduate deans, institutional researchers, department chairs and/or directors of graduate studies; and 3) effective practices in administering exit surveys to achieve high response rates from completers and non-completers. Discussion will focus on emergent promising practices in targeting specific completion and attrition issues.

Click on the links below to view the PowerPoint presentations.

Scott Bass, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Building a University Culture That Values the Graduate Student

J. Ellen Gainor, Cornell University
Doctoral Candidates Exit Survey 2005 Data

Cecilia Lucero, University of Notre Dame
Reducing the Cost of Graduate Attrition

Archives

***

Web Links

***

Bibliography

  • Attiyeh, Gregory. (1999). “Determinants of Persistence of Graduate Students in Ph.D. Programs.” GRE Board Research Report No. 95-18R; ETS Research Report 99-4. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.

  • Bair, Carolyn Richert and Jennifer Grant Haworth. (1999). Doctoral Student Attrition: Persistence, A Meta Synthesis of Research. ERIC Report: Association for the Study of Higher Education annual meeting, San Antonio, TX.

  • Berelson, Bernard. (1960). Graduate Education in the U.S. NY: McGraw Hill.

  • Berkowitz, Peggy. (2003) “The long haul.” University Affairs. February. 8-12.

  • Bowen, William and Neil Rudenstine. (1992). In Pursuit of the Ph.D. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

  • Breneman, David W. (1977). “Efficiency in Graduate Education: An Attempted Reform. A Report to the Ford Foundation.” Brookings Institution.

  • Breneman, David W. (1975). Graduate School Adjustments to the “New Depression” in Higher Education. Technical Report Number Three. Washington, DC: National Board on Graduate Education. 1975.

  • Case, Bettye Anne and M. Annette Blackwelder. (1993). “Doctoral Retention, Departmental Expectations, and Teaching Preparation,” Notices of the AMS, 40 (7), 803-811.

  • Council of Graduate Schools (2004). “Ph.D. Attrition and Completion: Policy, Numbers, Leadership and Next Steps.” Washington, DC.
  • Council of Graduate Schools. (2008). “Ph.D. Completion and Attrition: Analysis of Baseline Demographic Data from the Ph.D. Completion Project.” Washington, DC.

  • Denecke, Daniel and Helen Frasier. (2005). “PhD Completion Project: Preliminary Results from Baseline Data.” CGS Communicator. November 2005.

  • Denecke, Daniel and Jennifer Slimowitz. (2003). “Ph.D. Completion and Attrition: A White Paper.” Washington, DC: Council of Graduate Schools.

  • Espenshade, Thomas J. and Germán Rodríguez. (1997). “Completing the Ph.D.: Comparative performances of US & Foreign Students.” Social Science Quarterly, 78 (2), 593-605.

  • Etzkowitz, H., C. Kemelgor, M. Neuschatz, & B. Uzzi. (1992). “Athena unbound: Barriers to women in academic science and engineering.” Science and Public Policy, 19(3), 157-179.

  • Ferrer de Valero, Yaritza. (2001). “Departmental Factors Affecting Time-to-Degree and Completion Rates of doctoral Students at One Land-Grant Research Institution.” The Journal of Higher Education, 72 (3), 341-367.

  • Fox, Marye Anne.(1996). “Report from the Task Force on Graduate and Postdoctoral Education.” NSB/GE-96-2. : Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation.

  • Golde, Chris. “The role of the department in doctoral attrition: Lessons from four departments,” in preparation.

  • Golde, Chris. “Towards a Taxonomy of Patterns of Doctoral Student Attrition,” in preparation.

  • Golde, Chris M. and Timothy M. Dore. (2001). At Cross Purposes: What the experiences of today’s doctoral students reveal about doctoral education. A report prepared for The Pew Charitable Trusts, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Golde, Chris. M. (2000). “Should I stay or should I go? Student descriptions of the doctoral attrition process.” The Review of Higher Education, 23(2), 199-227.

  • Goldman, Charles A. and William F. Massey. (2001). The Ph.D. Factory. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing.

  • Goldsmith, Sharon S., et. al. (2002). National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program: Final Evaluation Report. WestEd Evaluation Research Program. NSF 02-080.

  • Herzig, Abbe. (2002). “I Didn't Really See I Had a Place in the Old White Guy's Club: How Can Women and Students of Color Come to Belong in Graduate Mathematics.” Presented at Retaining Women in Early Academic SMET Careers Conference, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.

  • Jackson, Shirley Ann. “The Quiet Crisis: Falling Short in Producing Scientific and Technical Talent.” BEST (Building Engineering and Science Talent) report.

  • Kelly, Eamon M. (1998). “The Federal Role in Science and Engineering: Graduate and Postdoctoral Education.” NSB 97-235. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation.

  • King, Margaret. (2003). On the Right Track: A Manual for Research Mentors. Washington, DC: Council of Graduate Schools.

  • Lorden, Joan and Slimowitz, Jennifer. (2003) National Science Foundation Workshop on the Future of Graduate Education. Summary article NSF Workshop Examines the Future of Graduate Education.

  • Lovitts, Barbara. (2001). Leaving the Ivory Tower: The Causes and Consequences of Departure from Doctoral Study. Lanham: Roman and Littlefield.

  • National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine. (1995). Reshaping the Graduate Education of Scientists and Engineers. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

  • National Association of Graduate and Professional Students. (2001). The 2000 National Doctoral Program Survey. A survey funded by the Sloan Foundation based on the phds.org graduate student survey.

  • National Research Council. (1996). Path to the Ph.D.: Measuring Graduate Attrition in the Sciences and the Humanities. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

  • National Science Foundation. (1998). Summary of Workshop on Graduate Student Attrition.

  • National Science Foundation. (2001). Survey of Doctorate Recipients and Survey of Earned Doctorates.

  • National Survey of Student Engagement. (2002).

  • Nelson, Cary and Barbara E. Lovitts. (2001). “10 Ways to Keep Graduate Students From Leaving.” Chronicle of Higher Education. (June 29).

  • Nerad, Maresi and Joseph Cerny. (1991). “From Facts to Action: Expanding the educational role of the graduate division.” CGS Communicator. Special Edition May 1991.

  • Nerad, Maresi and Joseph Cerny. (1999). “From Rumors to Facts: Career Outcomes of English Ph.D.’s.” CGS Communicator. Special Edition Fall 1999.

  • Nettles, Michael T. (1990). “Black, Hispanic, and White Doctoral Students: Before, During, and After Enrolling in Graduate School.” Minority Graduate Education Project, Graduate Record Examination and Educational Testing Service. Princeton, NJ.

  • Nettles, Michael T. (1987). “Financial Aid and Minority Participation in Graduate Education.” Minority Graduate Education Project, Graduate Record Examination and Educational Testing Service. Princeton, NJ.

  • Nettles, Michael T. and Catherine M. Millett. (2002). “Coming Up a Winner: Students and the Ph.D. Gamble.” Conference proceedings, University of Michigan.

  • Nettles, Michael T. and Catherine M. Millett. (2006). Three Magic Letters: Getting the Ph.D. Baltimore: JHU Press.

  • Nyquist, Jody. (2002). “The Ph.D.: A Tapestry of Change for the 21st Century.” Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 34 (6), 12-20.

  • Pion, Georgine M. (2001). The Early Career Progress of NRSA Predoctoral Trainees and Fellows. National Institutes of Health Publication Number 00-4900.

  • Preston, Anne. (2003). “The New Influx of Women into Doctorate Science: Career Patterns,” presented at AAAS Annual Meeting, Denver, CO.

  • Rapoport, Alan I. (1998). Summary of Workshop on Graduate Attrition. National Science Foundation: Washington, DC. NSF 99-314.

  • Russo, Rocco. (1997). "Doctoral Student Enrollment Trends in English and History Programs at Selected AAU Institutions: 1992-1995." AAU/AGS Project for Research on Doctoral Education. Program Profiles 3 (2), 1-4.

  • Sheridan, P.M. and S.W. Pyke. (1994). “Predictors of time to completion of graduate degrees.” Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 24 (2), 68-88.

  • Smallwood, Scott. (2004) “Doctor Dropout: High attrition from Ph.D. programs is sucking away time, talent, and money and breaking some hearts, too.” Chronicle of Higher Education. (January 16).

  • Smith, S., L. Pedersen-Gallegos, and C. Riegle-Crumb. (2002). “The Training, Careers, and Work of Ph.D. Physical Scientists: Not Simply Academic,” American Journal of Physics, 70 (11), 1081-1092.
  • Sowell, Robert, Ting Zhang and Nathan Bell, “Ph.D. Completion Project: Analysis of Baseline Demographic Data.” CGS Communicator. July 2008

  • Thomas, G., et al. (1987).The Role and Activities of American Graduate Schools in Recruiting, Enrolling, and Retaining United States Black and Hispanic Students. GRE No. 87-08. Princeton, NJ.

  • Tinto, Vincent. (1993). Leaving College: Rethinking the Causes and Cures of Student Attrition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Tinto, Vincent and Beatriz Chu Clewell. (1997). “Studying Doctoral Persistence.” Background paper for SRS/ Professional Society workshop on graduate student attrition. September 22. National Science Foundation. Washington, DC.

  • Tuckman, H.P., S.L. Coyle, and Y. Bae. (1990). On time to doctorate. A study of the increased time to complete doctorates in science and engineering. National Academy of Sciences – National Research Council. Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel.

  • Zuckerman, Harriet and Joseph S. Meisel. (2001). “The Foundation’s Programs for Research Universities and Humanistic Scholarship.” Mellon Foundation 2000 Annual Report.

  • Zumeta, William, and Joyce S. Raveling. (2003). “Attracting the Best and the Brightest.” Issues in Science and Technology. Winter 2002-03. 36-40.

  • Zwick, Rebecca. (1991). “Differences in Graduate School Attainment Patterns Across Academic Programs and Demographic Groups.” Minority Graduate Education Project, Educational Testing Service and Graduate Record Examination: Princeton, NJ.
Tools and Templates
Resources
Contact Information

Partners:

© 2008 Council of Graduate Schools Ph.D. Completion Project
All rights reserved.