University of California 2010 Accountability Report

Goals In addition to preparing graduate academic students, the University of California is also responsible for preparing professional degree students to enter a wide variety of professions that are critical to California, such as law, medicine, business, architecture, public policy and the arts. Included among its professional school offerings is the largest health sciences instructional program in the nation. The doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, optometrists and veterinarians the University trains help deliver essential health care services to the people of California.

Narrative Historically, UC's professional schools offered a top-quality education at a reasonable price. Beginning in 1994 and in response to state budget cuts, the University implemented professional degree fees to build the resources necessary for professional schools to recruit and retain excellent faculty, provide an outstanding curriculum, and attract high-caliber students. These fees are levied in addition to the mandatory Education and Registration fees that are set by the Board of Regents and required from all students.

The indicators in this section document the number and range of professional degrees UC awards, professional degree fees by discipline, debt levels of professional degree students at graduation and medical and law students' success, not just at earning their degrees, but at passing major certification and licensing exams.

Looking Forward The professional degree fees that were first introduced in 1994 for students in medicine, dentistry, business and law have over the years increased in amount and been extended to many other professional degree programs. While the fees provide essential support to the professional degree programs, they potentially have adverse impacts on diversity, access and student debt. Further, they could restrict the career paths of students interested in pursuing public interest careers. Accordingly, the indicators in this section provide important baseline measures that will enable the University to carefully monitor the impact of professional degree fee increases on diversity, access, student debt and other indicators on an ongoing basis.