Strategic Recruitment and Enrollment

I want to share with you in this blog our trends, for both Masters/Specialist and Doctoral programs, in i) applications received, ii) number of students admitted, iii) number enrolled (first-time enrollment), and iv) number of students graduated (Figs. 1 and 2). Our selectivity (admitted students expressed as a percentage of applied students) is 40% in Masters/Specialist programs and 25% in Doctoral programs. Our yield (enrolled students expressed as a percentage of admitted students) is about 60% for both Masters/Specialist and Doctoral programs. These are average numbers for all our programs.

The nearly 30 doctoral programs and more than 100 masters programs vary widely in both selectivity and yield, and the Annual Program Summaries distributed early in Summer ’12 show the relevant numbers for individual programs. We are ahead of our 2015 strategic goal in terms of Masters/Specialist degree production, but we need to step up our efforts to meet the goal of doctoral degree production.

Figure 1

Figure 2

International Students

The top ten countries of origin of our international students are shown in Fig. 3 . India is the source of most of our applications.. Most admissions offers are also made to students of Indian origin, yet the yield from that country is the lowest (12%). Venezuela, Panama, and Columbia are the three countries representing Central/South America among the top ten countries of our international students.

Figure 3

We could use increased efforts to attract more applications from countries such as Mexico and Brazil and to improve yield from countries such as India. As one would expect, our Masters/Specialist and Doctoral programs vary greatly in their reliance on and attraction for international students. These data will guide the way UGS spends its limited resources in the coming year to increase enrollments from international students.


The number of financial assistantships determines to a great extent our success in increasing enrollment. Fig. 4 shows the trends in the numbers of Doctoral students supported on either a research assistantship (RA) or a teaching/graduate assistantship (TA/GA). The number of students we support on research grants has been relatively flat during the past four years; the increase in assistantships is almost solely due to TA/GA positions. This trend makes a compelling case for increased efforts to leverage state funds with external research funding. UGS will work closely with DoR in the coming year to develop new opportunities for faculty to leverage state funds with sponsored research funds in hiring graduate students.

Figure 4

Thank you for reading, and please join the conversation.

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