Council of Graduate Schools Starts Study of Master's-Degree Completion
Having extensively studied student completion of doctorates, the Council of Graduate Schools has turned to master’s-degree programs.
Although more than 20 major studies have been done of doctoral completion patterns, the only major studies of master’s-degree completion have been done in Canada and Australia, said Nathan E. Bell, the council’s director of research and policy analysis, in an interview today. The few American studies have focused on individual institutions, he said, and “there is almost nothing known on this subject.”
The council’s new Master’s Degree Completion Project will examine completion and attrition in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. A grant of about $81,000 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation supports the initial efforts, which will include a literature review as well as focus groups and a workshop involving graduate-school deans.
Based on its initial findings, the council hopes to construct a long-term study of trends in master’s-degree completion similar to its Ph.D. Completion Project. —Peter Schmidt