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Release: Immediate

UI reports results of first-ever survey of graduate degree recipients

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Students who received doctoral degrees from the University of Iowa in the spring of 1997 report good luck in finding jobs, according to the first-ever survey of graduate degree recipients conducted by the UI Graduate College and the Office of the Registrar. Among doctoral degree recipients who responded to the survey, 90 percent reported that they have found jobs and 74 percent said they found work in their field of training.

That was one of the highlights of a report presented June 17 to the state Board of Regents by Les Sims, dean of the UI Graduate College. Sims told the Regents that the surveys were sent to about 650 students who received doctoral and master's degrees in the spring of 1997.

Forty-eight percent of doctoral and 33 percent of master's recipients returned surveys, an overall response rate of 36 percent - sufficient in number and in composition to provide confidence that the results are generally applicable to 1997 graduates, Sims said.

Other highlights of the survey results:
* Eighty-four percent of the respondents said they would recommend the UI to others interested in pursuing a graduate education.
* Among master's degree recipients who responded to the survey, more than half were employed, another 20 percent were continuing their education, and 25 percent were still seeking work.
* The top reasons cited by doctoral respondents for choosing the UI were program excellence (56 percent), location (47 percent), faculty (46 percent) and competitive offers of financial aid (39 percent). Among master's degree respondents, location was cited by 58 percent and program excellence by 41 percent.
* Survey respondents gave high marks to their teaching experiences, averaging 3.5 on a four-point scale (1.0 being "poor" and 4.0 being "excellent").
* Survey respondents also gave high marks to their interactions with departments/programs and their dissertation advisors (3.4 doctoral, 3.0 master's respondents).
* More than two-thirds of survey respondents reported adequate assistance by departments for financial support and with opportunities to present seminars and to publish their research. But less than half reported adequate assistance with career planning, placement, and with financial support to attend professional conferences and meetings.
* Doctoral respondents averaged 7.3 years to complete their degree, with UI support for an average of 4.5 years. Master's respondents averaged 2.7 years to earn their degree, with UI support for 2 years.