Our focus at Gradschoolmatch is to solve the problems graduate students and programs face in creating their perfect graduate school match. This entails taking a data-driven approach to understand the graduate school search and admission process comprehensively. To deepen our understanding of the prospective graduate student experience, we’ve just conducted a random, national survey of current graduate students to assess what they experience in finding, applying to, and choosing a graduate program.
Finding a national sample of current graduate students is trickier than you’d first imagine. We randomly selected 20 universities from a pool of 450 institutions. This larger pool awards 90% of all doctoral degrees and half of all masters each year in the US. For each university in our sample we asked graduate Deans and program administrators to disseminate our survey to their graduate students. Five of the 20 universities accommodated our request and distributed our survey to their graduate student bodies.
Our survey instrument is comprised of 44 questions. The survey was sent to over 20,000 graduate students and we received a total of 1445 responses for a response rate of ~7%. The participating institutions and the fraction of students from each responding to the survey are shown in the figure.
The data provide several important insights into the wants and needs of prospective graduate students. In particular, our results highlight where opportunities exist for graduate programs to better connect with prospective students and improve their recruiting outcomes.
Over the next several weeks we will be highlighting our findings on the blog. Keep on the lookout for our next blog post on the demographics of our sample!
Check out the other articles on our current graduate student survey: