NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Program Design and Student Outcomes in Graduate Education

Jeffrey Groen, George Jakubson, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Scott Condie, Albert Yung-Hsu Liu

NBER Working Paper No. 12064
Issued in March 2006
NBER Program(s):   ED   LS

Doctoral programs in the humanities and related social sciences are characterized by high attrition and long times-to-degree. In response to these problems, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation launched the Graduate Education Initiative (GEI) to improve the quality of graduate programs and in turn reduce attrition and shorten times-to-degree. Over a 10-year period starting in 1991, the Foundation provided a total of over $80 million to 51 departments at 10 major research universities. We estimate the impact of the GEI on attrition rates and times-to-degree using competing risk duration models and student-level data. The data span the start of the GEI and include information for students at a set of control departments. We estimate that the GEI had modest impacts on student outcomes in the expected directions: reducing attrition rates, reducing times-to-degree and increasing completion rates. The impacts of the GEI appear to have been driven in part by reductions in entering cohort size, improvements in financial support and increases in student quality.

download in pdf format
   (233 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (233 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w12064

Published: Groen, J., G. Jakubson, R. Ehrenberg, S. Condie, and A. Liu. “Program Design and Student Outcomes in Graduate Education.” Economics of Education Review (April 2008).

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Ehrenberg, Jakubson, Groen, So, and Price w12065 Inside the Black Box of Doctoral Education: What Program Characteristics Influence Doctoral Students' Attrition and Graduation Probabilities?
Ehrenberg and Mavros w4070 Do Doctoral Students' Financial Support Patterns Affect Their Times-to-Degree and Completion Probabilities
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us