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

Research Partner Profile

Duke University(Featured Profile)

Principal Investigator
Jo Rae Wright
Dean, Graduate School & Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Tel (919) 681-1560

Co-Principal Investigators
David F. Bell
Associate Dean of the Graduate School
Tel (919) 681-3257

Douglas James
Director, Academic Support Programs
Tel (919) 681-3251

Participating Programs (10)
Biomedical Engineering
Computer Science
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Romance Studies

Duke plans to use its existing longitudinal database to conduct a fuller study of graduate student attrition/completion rates since the basic program of structural change was fully implemented in 1995-6. Because of the richness of our data, much of which goes back to cohorts entering as early as 1986, Dean Siegel has already been able to derive preliminary conclusions of the effectiveness of certain programmatic interventions, but we need to supplement that work with a more comprehensive study of cohort groups. We believe that we have sufficient data to extend the range of this study from 1991-92 through the present academic year. While it is unclear how aggregating distinct “cohorts” might reflect historical changes in completion rates within individual departments/programs or within broad academic divisions, we believe that we can provide important longitudinal data to explore this issue. Other key features of this project include the development of an exit survey instrument for those students who do not complete the Ph.D. degree and roundtable discussions focused on specific topics that are likely to affect completion rather than the broad sweep of issues covered in the 2002 discussions.

Proposed Interventions

  • Exit Survey for Non-Completers
  • Student Faculty Program Research Discussions
  • Inter/Intra Program Communication
  • Analyze Current Data/Interventions Already Implemented
  • Best Practices Dissemination


Tools and Templates
Contact Information


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