Council of Graduate Schools - Ph.D. Completion Project  
Project Information Project Participants Quantitative Data Promising Practices

Research Partner Profile

University of California—San Diego

Principal Investigator
Kim Barrett
Dean, Graduate Studies
(858) 534-6655

Project Director
Tim Johnston
Assistant Dean, Graduate Division
(858) 534-3871

Participating Programs (8)
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Political Science

The Spring 2005 UCSD Graduate and Professional Student Experience and Satisfaction (GPSES) survey provides much needed information on the Ph.D. student experience at UCSD. Thus, UCSD has starting points and areas where we can focus our efforts to create changes in student persistence. Through the Ph.D. Completion Project UCSD will work to improve the campus environment for graduate students, reduce attrition, increase completion rates, and produce Ph.D.'s who are well prepared for academic, government, private industry, and other job markets.

Selected Interventions

Student Selection and Admissions
    • Improve department websites to ensure that all include additional
      data, information, and resources necessary for prospective
      students to make informed decisions.
    • Increase departmental participation in the Diversity Outreach
      Collaboration and the Diversity Coordinators Project to produce a
      diverse applicant pool for each department/program.
    • Review and revise current department/program new student
      orientation activities to promote collaboration with the Office of
      Graduate Studies and continue orientation activities throughout the
      first year.

Advising, Mentoring and Research
    • Increase faculty contact with students.
    • Teach faculty about positive mentoring and the differences
      between mentoring and advising.
    • Initiate campus-wide efforts to bring students together across
      disciplines for academic and social interaction.

Financial Support and Funding Structures
    • Increase fellowship funding and connect funding allocations with
      department completion/continuation improvement efforts and
    • Promote graduate student applications for external fellowships and
      provide staff help for proposal development and submission.

Program Environment
    • Evaluate with departments the services each provides to graduate
      students and determine specific needs and appropriate
    • Promote graduate student involvement as a member on campus-
      wide or department-wide committees to promote their career
      development, campus networking, and connection to the campus.
    • Promote faculty and staff participation in conferences and
      workshops focused on graduate student services, retention, and


Tools and Templates
Contact Information


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