UO sees growth in graduate programs

James Bean, provost
James Bean, provost

Graduate studies enrollment data shows moderate growth in overall programs in recent years, Provost James Bean said, in a recent message to the UO community.

In recent communications to the campus, Bean has reviewed the Oregon Budget Model and how funds are allocated across schools and colleges. Recently, the provost illustrated how undergraduate student credit hours, majors and degrees – the data used to apply the budget model – have changed across campus during the past few years.

In the area of overall graduate programs, the number of graduate students increased from 9,143 student-terms (3,047 students) in 2008-09 to 9,607 student-terms in 2012-13 (3,202 students).

“The bulk of that growth is in the number of doctoral students,” Bean said. “Additionally, the percentage of all graduate students who are supported as GTFs has grown from 43.3 percent to 46 percent over the same period.”

Visit the provost’s website for a graph of total graduate and GTF student-terms from 2008-09 through 2012-13 (projected), broken down by area. The graph indicates that the graduate programs in some areas of the university have decreased in size. 

Despite the overall increase in graduate students over the five-year period, graduate students now form a smaller percentage of the total student population. Using fall term census numbers, graduate students were 15.8 percent of total enrollment in 2008-09 but only 14.2 percent of total enrollment in 2012-13, Bean said.

A review of enrollment patterns of graduate students over this period indicates:

  • The percentage of overall graduate student credit hours taken at the 600-700 level holds steady, overall, at 79 percent. That percentage varies widely by college, but is steady in all cases. 
  • The percentage of interdisciplinary coursework taken by graduate students has remained steady at slightly more than 9 percent. (This is a rough measure of interdisciplinary work formed by counting all student credit hours taken outside of the student’s home department.)
  • The carrying loads of graduate students (average number of student credit hours per term) have remained steady overall and within each school. Overall, the average carrying load is slightly more than 12 credits per term, Bean said.