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

Research Partner Profile

Yale University

Principal Investigator
Jon Butler
Dean of the Graduate School
(203) 432-2733

Co-Principal Investigator and Project Director
John R. Mangan
Assistant Dean of the Graduate School
(203) 432-8093

Participating Programs (9)
African American Studies
Computer Science
Engineering and Applied Science
English Language and Literature
Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Political Science

For Phase I of the Completion Project, Yale implemented or enhanced a series of interventions, beginning with the Diversity Recruitment Program through which the university encouraged departments to be more pro-active in seeking diverse applicants. Yale has already seen measurable progress towards making Yale Graduate School a more diverse community. From a curricular standpoint the 2-4 Project has called for every Ph.D. program to conduct self-assessment, with particular attention given to years two through four in a doctoral student’s career, the critical middle period when course work is concluded and research and writing begin. Yale has also hired a writing consultant who has made excellent progress in forging a sense of community in the Graduate School around writing. In Phase II Yale seeks to enhance and expand the intervention and assessment activities they began in Phase I.

Continuing Interventions

  • Develop and review the content of departmental web sites.
  • Encourage the participation of students of color and women in the Bouchet Fellows Program.
  • Work with the graduate writing consultant to craft writing programs.
  • Use 2-4 Project program evaluation to Implement curricular initiatives or modifications.
  • Emphasize mentoring and community building programs.
  • Review the exit interviews of doctoral recipients and those who leave.

New Interventions

  • Increase minority student recruitment activities during the academic year with the efforts of the new Diversity Coordinator.
  • Initiate the “Navigating the System” Seminar Program, as a component of the Bouchet Fellows Program, to address the theme of inclusion and diversity.
  • Initiate substantive and specific curricular modifications to the nine participating programs in the 2-4 Project.
  • Institute a modified report on students’ plans for the remainder of the academic year to be completed immediately upon their advancement to candidacy.
  • Merge two of the existing hard copy forms—Intention to Withdraw Notification used by the Graduate School registrar, and the Exit Survey for Ph.D. Students Withdrawing from the Graduate School administered by the Graduate School academic deans—into a single Web-based data-gathering instrument.
  • Continue to offer and, in time, add to the efforts of the writing consultant, through additional writing workshops and for additional one-to-one support.
  • Hold a “Dissertation Boot Camp” focusing on the dissertation writing process.


Tools and Templates
Contact Information


© 2008 Council of Graduate Schools Ph.D. Completion Project
All rights reserved.