Grad Student Satisfaction Data: the Good and the Bad

Most UT graduate students believe that faculty create a positive climate for graduate studies, according to a University study released this week.

Ninety-two percent of the 4,493 graduate students who responded to the Climate Survey of the Graduate School said they would recommend UT to a friend, and 85 percent said they would recommend their program or department.

Other key positive findings from the study include:

  • 95 percent said their advisor treats their ideas with respect.
  • 89 percent said their advisor is available when they need help.
  • 92 percent said that faculty in their department exhibited high ethical standards.
  • Only 9 percent said if they could change their graduate school decision, they would choose another university.
  • 74 percent agreed that they could make it financially after graduate school.

However, while students were generally very positive about UT’s faculty and academic excellence, they were less satisfied in other areas:

  • Many students don’t know if they will have funding in the future: only 67 percent were satisfied with the availability of information about their funding status.
  • Regardless of field of study, women were less likely to have funding than men.
  • 17 percent of women reported experiencing gender discrimination; only 5 percent of men said the same.
  • 42 percent of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students reported experiencing discrimination based on sexual orientation.
  • Compared to white students, students of color were less positive about their programs’ climate and experienced more stress.
  • Compared to white students, Hispanic students got lower grades, progressed more slowly toward their degrees, and were more likely to drop out.

The study made several recommendations for progress, such as connecting grad students with faculty mentors earlier and offering more information to students about their funding status.

Read the full report here:
Graduate School Climate Study

Photo from Flickr Creative Commons


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