Indicator 5.2.2Academic doctoral students' self-reported cumulative graduate and undergraduate debt at graduation by discipline, domestic students, Universitywide, Graduating classes of 2002-03 to 2008-09
Generally, the proportion of doctoral students graduating with loan debt has increased between 2002 and 2009.1 The level of loan debt varies by discipline, with doctoral students in the physical and life sciences graduating with less loan debt on average than those in the social sciences, arts and humanities.
A number of factors help explain why doctoral students in the physical and life sciences graduate with less debt than those in other disciplines. Physical and life science students are more likely to be supported by research grants. They also take less time on average to complete their degrees than doctoral students in the social sciences or arts and humanities.
1 UC usually does not have data on undergraduate debt for its graduate students. The data presented here are from the Survey of Earned Doctorates. Because they are survey data that rely on respondents' self-reported debt, the figures presented here should be considered illustrative but not necessarily definitive.