2010 Graduate Study in Psychology
Master’s- and Doctoral-Level Students in U.S. and Canadian Graduate Departments of Psychology, 2008-2009
Brittany M. Hart, Marlene Wicherski and Jessica L. Kohout
APA Center for Workforce Studies
Master’s- and Doctoral-Level Students in U.S. and Canadian Graduate Departments of Psychology: 2008-2009
Introduction and Methodology
In January of each year the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Education Directorate notifies the chairs of graduate departments of psychology of the annual Graduate Study in Psychology effort. The following month the chairs are sent a link to the survey. This original email is followed by three subsequent contacts requesting participation in the study. APA receives a notification email when a program has completed the survey and graduate programs are dropped from the database when they have not updated their data for two straight years. The information is provided voluntarily by graduate departments and schools of psychology.
When using the information in this report, readers should be aware of possible sources of error. Analyses are based on the subset of departments that participated in the survey, not the population at large. Further, some information was collected at the department level and some at the program level. This is an important distinction because master’s programs can reside either in doctoral-level departments or departments where the master’s is the highest degree granted. Therefore, information on some master’s degree programs would be presented in tables reporting doctoral department data.
First-Year Full-Time Students
Data from Table 9 indicate that 500 U.S. graduate departments of psychology reported a total of 13,537 first-year full-time students in 2008-2009. Sixteen Canadian departments reported 257 first-year full-time students. Overall, in the U.S., Whites were 72% of first-year full-time students, Blacks or African Americans comprised 8%, Hispanic students were at 9%, Asians were at 7%, and Native Americans were at 1%. First-year full-time students who claimed a multi-ethnic background were at 3%. Since 2000, the proportion of first-year full-time minority students in graduate departments of Psychology has increased 9%.
In doctoral departments in the U.S., White first-year full-time students were 71% of the total, Black students were 8%, Hispanics were 9%, Asians were 8%, and Native Americans were at 2%. Students claiming a multi-ethnic background were 2%. In U.S. master’s departments of psychology, 78% of first-year full-time students were white. Seven percent of these students were Black, 7% were Hispanic, 4% were Asian, 1% was Native American, and 3% were multi-ethnic.
The student body in doctoral departments in private institutions was a bit more diverse than that in public settings. In private settings, 33% of doctoral students were minorities, whereas 24% of students in public institutions were minorities. There was no difference in minority representation among students in master’s departments in public and private settings; both reported 22% minority.
Ninety-one percent of first-year full-time students in Canadian departments of psychology were white. Asian students represented 7% of the total minority students reported by Canadian departments, while the remaining percentages were distributed across other ethnic groups.
First-Year Part-Time Students
In 2008-2009, three hundred fifty-four U.S. graduate departments of psychology reported a total of 2,224 first-year part-time graduate students (Table 10). Sixty seven percent of the U.S. students were white, 15% were Black, 9% Hispanic, 5% Asian, 1% Native American, and 2% multi-ethnic. The number first-year part-time minority students have increased 11% since 2000.
Students in doctoral departments were slightly more diverse than those in masters departments (34% vs. 37% minority). Too few Canadian departments responded to report results.
First-Year Doctoral Students by Setting of Department – full time
Three hundred seventy-four departments reported 7,706 first-year full-time doctoral students in 2008-2009. Seventy-four percent of first-year full-time doctoral students in traditional academic settings were White compared to 67% in professional schools. Black students represented seven percent of first-year full-time students in traditional settings and 10% in professional school, while Hispanics were eight percent in traditional settings and 11% in professional schools. Native Americans and multi-ethnic students were one percent and two percent respectively in traditional settings, each represented two percent in professional school settings. Asians represented eight percent of first-year full-time students in both traditional academic settings and professional schools. (Table 9a).
Looking at this another way, 43% of White students, 54% of Black students, 53% of Hispanic students, 45% of Asian students, 70% of Native American students, and 46% of multi-ethnic students were located in Professional school settings.
First-Year Doctoral Students by Setting of Department – part time
Eight hundred eighty-six first-year part-time students were reported from two hundred fifty-seven departments. Overall 57% of first-year part-time students are in professional school settings.
Sixty-nine percent of first-year part-time doctoral students in traditional academic settings were White compared to 63% in professional schools. Black students represented 12% of first-year part-time students in traditional settings and 19% in professional schools, while Hispanics were ten percent in traditional settings and 12% in professional schools. Asian students represented seven percent in traditional school settings and four percent in professional school settings. Native Americans and multi-ethnic students were one percent and two percent respectively in professional school settings, each represented one percent in traditional school settings. (Table 10a).
In 2008-2009, three hundred twenty-two doctoral departments reported 39,406 full-time and 6,906 part-time doctoral students in graduate departments of psychology. Race/ethnicity and gender of the students proved to be consistent across both full-time and part-time doctoral students. About 65% were White, 10% were Black, 7% Hispanic, 6% Asian/Pacific Islander, 1% Native American, and 1% Multi-ethnic. Also, among both the full and part-time students, 75% were Female and 25% were Male.
One hundred six graduate departments of psychology reported 5,416 full-time and 2,855 part-time master’s students in graduate departments of psychology. Of the full time students, 70% were White, 6% were Black, 6% Hispanic, 4% Asian, 1% Native American, and 9% Multi-ethnic. Of the part-time students, 63% were White, 8% were Black, 6% were Hispanic, 2% Asian, and 3% were Multi-ethnic. Gender remained the same for both full and part-time student; about 77% female and 22% male.