University of California 2010 Accountability Report

Indicator 38
Percent of UC Professional Degree Students Graduating with Debt, by Discipline, 2001-02 to 2007-08

Data visualization. please download the source data for accessible information.

The percent of professional degree students who graduate with debt varies by discipline, ranging from almost 90 percent in medicine to slightly more than 50 percent in business. Within specific disciplines, the proportion of students graduating with debt has been relatively stable over the past eight years; however, in certain disciplines average debt levels of students who borrowed have risen (see Indicator 39).

About two-thirds of aid awarded to professional degree students is in the form of loans, primarily from federal loan programs, rather than fellowships or grants. A greater reliance on loans is considered appropriate for professional degree students because their programs are shorter and their incomes after graduation tend to be higher than those of other graduate students.

Professional degree students who choose careers in the public interest often forego higher incomes, thus these students may be less able to meet their debt repayment obligations. Therefore, in certain disciplines, such as law and business, University funds also are used for loan repayment assistance programs (LRAPs). Other LRAPs are funded at the federal, state or regional level to encourage students to serve specific populations (e.g., to work as physicians in medically underserved areas).

Other UC professional schools are continuing to evaluate the appropriate mix of loan assistance and increased fellowship support to ensure that public interest careers remain a viable choice for their graduates.

Source: UC Corporate Student System.

Figures represent the percent of professional degree recipients who took out at least one student loan while they were enrolled at UC. Students who also earned other graduate degrees at UC were excluded, as were student who received doctoral degrees in professional disciplines. Professional disciplines were defined as those in two-digit Classification of Instruction Programs (CIP) codes 04, 13, 22, 25, 39, 44, 51, 52 or four-digit CIP code 09.04.

Disciplinary categories were also based on CIP codes as listed below.

  • Law: 22
  • Medicine: 51.1201, 51.1901
  • Other Health: other 51 codes
  • Business: 52
  • Education: 13
  • Other Disciplines: all others

You may view or download a table of the raw data used to generate these charts in CSV files, which can be opened in spreadsheet programs such as Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice.