Goals The California Master Plan for Higher Education charges the University of California with the responsibility for preparing graduate and professional students to help meet California's and the nation's work force needs.* Indeed, graduate education and research at the University of California have long fueled California's innovation and economic development, helping establish California as one of the 10 largest economies in the world. One of the most important methods of transferring research and innovation from UC into society occurs when a new Ph.D. or M.D. starts his or her new job. At the graduate academic level, Board of Regents' policy calls upon the University to attract a diverse pool of highly qualified students by providing a competitive level of support relative to the cost of other institutions.
Measures At UC, graduate students include graduate academic or professional degree students. Graduate academic students (Section 5) are in master's and doctoral programs in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and engineering. Professional degree students (Section 6) participate in a wide range of programs that recruit directly into fields such as law (J.D.), medicine (M.D.) or business (M.B.A.). The indicators in these two sections show the size and diversity of graduate and professional school enrollment by broad academic discipline, types of degrees awarded, student outcomes and financial support measures. More detailed information is available from accountability sub-reports on graduate and professional education.
Looking Forward Over the last 50 years, growth in undergraduate enrollments has far outpaced that in graduate enrollments as the University opened its doors to California's burgeoning number of high-school graduates. As a result, the proportion of graduate students at UC relative to undergraduates has decreased from about 29 percent of general campus enrollment in the mid-1960s to about 18 percent in 2008-09 (Section 1). At the same time, UC's role in graduate academic and professional education continues robustly. Three major issues will shape its future: 1) the maintenance of an exceptional research faculty able to recruit and train graduate academic students and to generate the research funding necessary to support them; 2) insufficient financial aid packages for recruiting top graduate students compared to peer institutions; and 3) completion and time-to-degree rates for Ph.D. students. This section presents data tracking each of these areas, showing where gains have occurred over time and where there is room for future improvements.
* The Master Plan gives UC exclusive jurisdiction for instruction in law, medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine and, with two exceptions, for doctoral education as well; CSU may award education leadership doctorates (Ed.D.) independently and may award other doctorates jointly with UC or an independent institution.