Analyses of Data from Graduate Study in Psychology: 1999-2000
William E. Pate II
APA Center for Workforce Studies
The 2000 Graduate Study in Psychology (see Appendix) was mailed to 627 Chairs of U.S. and Canadian graduate departments of psychology in September 1999. Overall, 616 surveys were received and used for the publication of the 2000 edition.
The current report summarizes the results of analyses of the data collected during this effort. All data are reported in the aggregate and cannot be used to identify specific universities, colleges, schools, departments, or individuals.
The information contained in this report includes demographic characteristics of faculty and first-year psychology graduate students, as well as application, acceptance, and enrollment characteristics of U.S. graduate programs and/or departments of psychology. It also includes admission and graduation requirements, tuition information, and information on financial support available to U.S. graduate students in psychology.
Readers should be aware of the possible sources of error when using the information from this report. The analyses are based on a subset of departments, those responding to the survey, rather than the entire population.
In addition, information may have been collected either at the level of departments or that of programs. This distinction is important as not all master's programs reside in master's departments. For example, there are terminal master's programs that exist within departments that also offer the doctoral degree. As such, information related to these terminal master's programs would be found in references to doctoral department data. Every effort has been made to clarify at which level (department versus program) the information pertains to in order to facilitate interpretation.
There was considerable variability in both the provision and entry of data over which this office had no control. The data have been carefully reviewed and cleaned, and any necessary follow-up with departments occurred prior to analysis. It is noteworthy that the data contained herein are in line with both previous data collection efforts conducted by APA, as well as the results of national surveys. However, these data should not be used as the sole source for decision making and the reader is urged to locate other data sources to bolster any discussions or applications.
Demographic Characteristics of Faculty in Graduate Departments of Psychology
Faculty in U.S. graduate departments of psychology, As seen in Table 1, women represented 36% of full-time faculty employed in public institutions and were similarly represented among full-time faculty in private institutions. Women represented 34% and 43% of full-time faculty, respectively among traditional academic settings and professional school settings (see Table 2). According to Tables 3 and 4, 36% of full-time faculty in doctoral departments and 40% of the full-time faculty in master's departments were women. Since 1984, the percentage of women among full-time faculty in U.S. graduate departments of psychology has increased from 22% to 37% (see Figure 1) (Gehlmann, Wicherski, & Kohout, 1995; Table 1 of this report).
Since 1984, there has been a 14% decrease in the number of male faculty employed full time by U.S. institutions (Gehlmann et al., 1995; Table 1 of this report). As seen in Table 1 and Figure 1, male faculty made up 63% of all full-time faculty. Similarly, as seen in Tables 3 and 4, men accounted for 64% and 60% of full-time faculty in doctoral and master's departments, respectively.
Graduate departments of psychology were staffed predominantly by full-time faculty. Tables 3 and 4 indicate that in 1999-2000, 69% of faculty in U.S. doctoral departments and 63% in U.S. master's departments were full time. Seventy-nine percent of faculty in public doctoral departments were full time, while only 54% of faculty in private doctoral departments were full time. Likewise, 70% of the faculty in public master's departments were full time, compared to 42% of full-time faculty in private master's departments. These lower percentages of full-time faculty in private settings are primarily the result of the inclusion of professional schools (most of which are private) in this category (Table 3b).
The proportion of minority faculty in U.S. graduate departments of psychology has gradually increased over the past 16 years. In 1984, racial/ethnic minority faculty represented approximately 6% of all full-time faculty (Gehlmann et al., 1995). As shown in Table 5, minority faculty comprised 11% of full-time faculty in 1999-2000. This 11% figure is consonant with findings of 10% from the 1999-2000 Faculty Salary Survey (Wicherski, Guerrero, & Kohout, 2000). Private institutions had a slightly higher representation of full-time minority faculty (12%) than public institutions (10%). In 1999-2000, 16% of full-time faculty in professional school settings were minorities (see Table 6). However, minorities represented approximately 11% of full-time faculty in U.S. doctoral, and 10% in master's departments, respectively (see Tables 7 and 8).
Faculty in Canadian graduate departments of psychology. Staffing patterns in Canadian graduate departments of psychology were similar to U.S. graduate departments with respect to gender distribution (see Table 1). However, there were higher levels of full-time faculty in Canadian graduate departments (76%) as compared to those in the U.S. (67%). Seventy-seven percent of faculty in Canadian doctoral departments and 62% of faculty in Canadian master's departments were full time (see Tables 3 and 4). Nearly one third of full-time faculty were women. Minorities represented 2% of all full-time Canadian faculty (see Table 5).
To summarize, the numbers of female faculty employed full or part time in U.S. departments of psychology have increased steadily over the past 20 years. In addition, the number and proportion of ethnic and racial minorities also have increased, although at a slower pace.
Demographic Characteristics of First-Year Graduate Students in Psychology
First-Year Graduate Students in U.S. Departments of Psychology. In 1999-2000, 82% of first-year students were enrolled full time and 74% of these students were enrolled in a graduate program within a doctoral department (computed from Tables 9 and 10).
In 1999-2000, women represented 70% and 75% of first-year full-time enrollees in graduate programs in doctoral and master's departments, respectively (see Table 9 and Figure 2). Furthermore, as seen in Table 10, women represented 72% of doctoral students and 77% of master's students enrolled part time for the 1999-2000 academic year.
As indicated in Table 9, racial and ethnic minority students represented approximately 18% of first-year enrollments. Of those enrolled, Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American students comprised 7%, 5%, 6%, and 1%, respectively, of the total first-year enrollments for graduate programs, in general.
First-Year Graduate Students in Canadian Departments of Psychology. Women outnumbered men among first-year enrollees in Canadian graduate departments of psychology , representing 75% of first-year full-time enrollments (see Table 9). Additionally, seventy percent of first-year part-time students were women (see Table 10). Ethnic/racial minorities constituted approximately 5% of first-year full-time enrollments, with Asian enrollees representing the single highest proportion of minorities at 2% (see Table 9).
Overall, the numbers of women and racial/ethnic minorities who are entering into the field of psychology and graduating with advanced degrees are increasing. Trend data indicate that the number and proportion of women enrolled (total enrollment; not limited to first-year graduate students) full-time in graduate school for psychology has increased over the past 25 years (National Science Foundation, 1999). Total graduate student enrollment of racial/ethnic minorities in psychology has also increased in number and proportion in the last decade (National Science Foundation, 1999).
Application, Acceptance, and Enrollment Characteristics of U.S. Graduate Departments of Psychology
Since 1975, the overall enrollment in U.S. graduate psychology programs has increased by 43% (National Science Foundation, 2001). In 1999-2000, 77% of all graduate students in departments of psychology were enrolled full time in either a master's or a doctoral program (see Table 11).
In 1991, the overall acceptance rate (i.e., ratio of acceptances to applications) for U.S. psychology graduate programs was 32% (Kohout & Wicherski, 1993). Calculations from Table 18 indicate that the acceptance rate for 1999-2000 was 38%. In 1999-2000, the acceptance rate for U.S. doctoral programs was 21%, while for master's programs, this rate was 59%. Enrollment rates (i.e., ratio of enrollments to acceptances) for U.S. doctoral and master's programs were 62% and 71%, respectively.
Accredited PhD programs had an overall acceptance rate of 10% (see Table 12); while PsyD programs had an acceptance rate of 34% (see Table 15). Both PhD and PsyD programs had almost equal enrollment rates, 61% and 59%, respectively.
According to Tables 11 and 12, 35% of the students enrolled in a doctoral program were enrolled in an APA-accredited PhD program. Of these, 68% were enrolled in clinical, 20% in counseling, 9% in school psychology, and 3% in combined programs. These percentages reflect the overall distribution of program types among APA-accredited programs. Approximately 18% (or 5,387) of all students in a doctoral program were enrolled in an APA-accredited PsyD program, and of these, 94% (5,089) were enrolled in a clinical program (see Table 15).
Among APA-accredited programs, students enrolled in PhD programs represented 67% (10,725) of the total student enrollment, while those in PsyD programs represented 33% (5,387). When only new enrollments are considered, this composition changes somewhat. That is, the proportion of students in PhD programs drops to 61% (1,814), while the proportion of those in PsyD programs rises to 39% (1,139).
Table 16 illustrates further analyses comparing traditional academic with professional school settings. That is, the acceptance rate for all doctoral-level clinical programs (to include APA-accredited, non-APA-accredited, PhD, PsyD, and EdD) in professional school settings was 36% while doctoral-level clinical programs in traditional academic settings accepted only 7% of their applicants. Further, the total enrollment of new applicants in programs at traditional academic settings (1,037) was lower than that of professional schools (1,889) even though there are twice as many programs in traditional academic settings as there are programs in professional schools. Finally, the number of clinical doctorates awarded in the previous academic year (1998-1999) for programs in traditional academic settings was just over 1,000. For the same year, professional schools granted 1,185 clinical doctorates.
In 2000, the overall acceptance rate for U.S. graduate programs in Health Service Provider fields (HSPs) was 28% (see Table 17). In 1993, this rate was 15% (Kohout & Wicherski, 1993). Furthermore, data from Table 17 suggest that the enrollment rate for doctoral programs in HSP subfields for 2000 was approximately 60%, while in 1993, the overall enrollment rate was 67% (Kohout & Wicherski, 1993). Students enrolled in HSP subfields constituted 70% of the total graduate student population (see Table 17). The remaining 30% were enrolled in non-health service provider fields, including cognitive, developmental, experimental, industrial/organizational, and social psychology programs.
According to Table 19, public institutions accounted for 47% of the students enrolled in HSP subfields, while private institutions accounted for 53%. Research and Other Fields yielded a different distribution with 63% and 37% of students in public and private institutions, respectively. This difference in distributions is mostly due to professional schools which are largely private and which account for 58% of HSP enrollments (at private institutions).
To summarize, acceptance rates for graduate departments of psychology have increased steadily, while enrollment rates have decreased slightly in the last decade. Presently, the acceptance, enrollment, and matriculation rates are higher for clinical doctoral programs in professional schools than for programs in traditional academic settings.
Admission and Graduation Requirements for U.S. Graduate Departments of Psychology
Forty-seven percent of doctoral departments required scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)-Verbal and GRE-Quantitative exams (Table 23), while 41% of master's departments required the GRE-Verbal and 40% required the GRE-Quantitative (see Table 21). According to Tables 22 and 24, public and private institutions also reported the GRE-Verbal and Quantitative scores and overall undergraduate GPA as the most common requirements for admission.
The most common requirements for admission into programs in master's departments were minimum overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA; M = 2.90), minimum GRE-Verbal score (M = 473), and minimum GRE-Quantitative score (M = 476; see Table 21). These requirements were also the most common for admission into programs in doctoral departments (see Table 23). Specifically, programs in doctoral departments required a minimum overall undergraduate GPA of 3.06, a minimum GRE-Verbal score of 534, and a minimum GRE-Quantitative score of 540.
Traditional academic departments and those in professional schools required the same types tests for admission with comparable score requirements. Nearly half of traditional departments required both the GRE-Verbal (48%) and Quantitative (47%) exams with mean minimums of 534 and 542, respectively, while 50% of professional schools required these exams for admission. Professional school mean minimum scores for both the GRE-Verbal and GRE-Quantitative exams were 541 and 534, respectively. Both types of settings also had similar requirements for overall undergraduate GPAs for admission (see Table 25).
Additional requirements for admission included research experience, work experience, extracurricular activity, clinically related public service, letters of recommendation, interviews, and/or a statement of goals and objectives. According to Table 26, the most important criteria for admission into U.S. graduate programs in doctoral departments were letters of recommendation, a statement of goals and objectives, and research experience. Specifically, letters of recommendation were of high importance in admission criteria for 80% of public and 78% of private graduate programs. Similarly, a statement of goals and objectives was seen as high in importance for 72% of public doctoral programs and 78% of private doctoral programs. Fifty-five percent of public and 70% of private, graduate programs in master's departments also considered letters of recommendation as high in importance. A statement of goals and objectives was also considered high in importance by public and private master's departments.
Hours required for completion of a degree were similar across public and private institutions. Public and private institutions offering a terminal master's of science (MS) or master's of art (MA) degree required a median of 42 and 48 hours, respectively (see Table 27). Doctoral programs, overall, required nearly double the number of hours required by master's programs for degree completion. PsyD programs required the most hours for degree completion in both public and private institutions. Specifically, public institutions offering a PsyD degree required 18% more hours than public institutions offering the PhD degree. Private institutions offering a PsyD degree required 46% more hours than private institutions offering the PhD degree.
Overall, requirements for admission are specific to each institution and program. Generally, doctoral programs require higher standardized test scores and undergraduate GPAs, as compared to master's programs.
Tuition in Graduate Departments of Psychology
Tuition in U.S. Graduate Departments of Psychology. In the interest of consistency, discussion regarding tuition will be based on medians. In addition, it should be noted that state residency does not affect the cost of tuition for private institutions; therefore, a distinction between state and non-state residents will not be made when discussing private institutions. Table 28 indicates that tuition at private institutions per academic year was slightly more than five times higher than state tuition at public institutions. The tuition at private institutions was almost twice as high as tuition for non-state residents at public institutions. Likewise, state residents enrolled in public institutions paid 56% less per credit hour than did non-state residents. The tuition per credit hour for those enrolled in private institutions was three times higher than that of state residents enrolled at a public institution.
State tuition per academic year in doctoral departments was almost twice as much as that for state tuition at master's departments. Non-state residents in doctoral departments paid more than double the tuition of state residents per academic year. State resident master's students paid 46% less per credit hour than non-state resident master's students (see Table 29).
Tuition in Canadian Graduate Departments of Psychology. Non-Canadian residents paid nearly double the tuition of Canadian resident graduate students per academic year. Similar differences were found between non-Canadian and Canadian residents for tuition per credit hour (see Table 29).
In general, students enrolled in private institutions paid higher tuition than did those students enrolled in public institutions. In addition, doctoral students tended to pay more per academic year than did master's students.
Availability and Levels of Financial Support for U.S. Psychology Graduate Students
Caveat. The following sections present data collected at the level of departments rather than programs and is divided according to the highest degree offered by each department. Thus, doctoral refers to information from departments where the highest degree offered is the doctorate; this will include data from terminal master's programs that exist within departments that also offer the doctorate. Likewise, master's information refers to information from departments where the highest degree offered is the master's and will not represent all master's programs; again, data from terminal master's programs within departments that offer the doctorate would be found in the doctoral information. For each section, doctoral information is presented first, followed by master's information.
Teaching Assistantships. According to Table 30a, 81% of doctoral departments in traditional public institutions offered teaching assistantships (TA) to first-year students and 88% offered TA positions to advanced students. On average, doctoral students from traditional private institutions received a larger stipend per academic year (median of $9,800) than their counterparts at traditional public ($8,866), professional public ($5,000), or professional private institutions ($2,000). At the same time, traditional public institutions required students with TA positions to work more hours (median of 20 hours per week) than their counterparts at traditional private (16 hours), professional public (10 hours), or professional private institutions (8 hours). Fifty-eight percent of traditional public and 53% of traditional private institutions offered doctoral students full tuition remission, while only 42% of professional public and 5% of professional private institutions were able to offer the same. However, departments in professional settings were more likely to offer partial tuition remission as compared to departments in traditional academic settings.
Since our analysis did not include data from master's departments in professional settings, the distinction between traditional academic and professional settings will be dropped. Fifty-five percent of master's departments in public institutions offered first-year students TA positions, while only 38% of departments in private institutions offered the same (Table 30b). Likewise, a higher percentage of public institutions (61%) offered TA positions to master's students as compared to private institutions (43%). However, private institutions were able to offer a slightly larger average stipend to these TA positions (median of $5,000) than were public institutions ($4,500). Moreover, stipend amounts for TA positions in master's departments were, on average, lower than those of their doctoral-level counterparts in traditional settings. The average number of hours worked per week was similar for those in TA positions at public and private institutions (median of 15 hours each). A slightly larger proportion of public institutions offered full or partial tuition remission (23% and 25%, respectively) than that of private institutions (19% and 17%, respectively).
Research Assistantships. Research assistantships (RA) were as available to first-year students and slightly less available to advanced students than were TA positions in both doctoral and master's departments. Stipend amounts for doctoral students followed the same pattern as for TA positions (Table 30a). That is, doctoral RA stipends in traditional private institutions (median of $10,000) were greater than stipends at traditional public (median of $8,600), professional public (median of $4,750), or professional private institutions (median of $3,478). As with TA positions, the largest average number of hours worked per week for RA positions were found at traditional public institutions (median of 20 hours) followed by traditional private institutions (18 hours), and all professional settings (10 hours each, public and private). Tuition remission followed the same general pattern as hours worked; traditional public institutions were the most likely to offer full and partial tuition remission (55% and 35%, respectively), while professional private institutions were the least likely (6% and 31%, respectively).
RA positions were as available to first-year master's students as TA positions for both public (55%) and private (38%) institutions (Table 30b). Availability to advanced students, however, was slightly lower than for TA positions (53% in public, and 36% in private institutions). Average stipend amounts were, on average, about $500 less than stipends for TA positions. The average number of hours worked per week was 15 hours for RA positions at public, and 12 hours at private institutions. The availability of full or partial tuition remission was slightly greater for master's students with RA positions as compared to TA positions.
Traineeships. Traineeships were the least offered of all types of financial support across all types of departments, at both degree levels (Tables 30a and 30b). The greatest availability of traineeships to first-year doctoral students was at traditional private institutions (20%), followed by traditional public (18%), professional public (17%), and professional private institutions (6%). Availability to advanced students was highest in professional public (58%), followed by traditional public (42%), traditional private (32%), and professional private institutions (23%). Stipend amounts varied somewhat between traditional academic and professional settings, but very little between public and private institutions. For example, the average stipend for a traineeship at a traditional private institution was $9,904. At a traditional public institution, the stipend amount was $9,660. In contrast, a traineeship stipend at a professional private institution averaged $6,200. Likewise, a stipend at a professional public institution was $6,010. The number of hours worked per week in a traineeship was fairly consistent across settings. That is, 20 hours per week was the average for all institution/setting combinations except for professional private institutions (17 hours). Full tuition remission for traineeships was offered most typically in traditional public and private institutions (27% and 26%, respectively). Full tuition remission in professional settings was offered at 8% of public and 3% of private institutions. Partial tuition remission was most common at professional public institutions (25%), followed by traditional private (11%), traditional public (9%), and professional private institutions (6%).
Traineeships for first-year students in master's departments were available at 7% of private and 3% of public institutions (Table 30b). There was slightly more availability of traineeships for advanced students (14% of private and 11% of public institutions). The average stipend was $6,000 at private, and $4,050 at public institutions; both well below the average amount for doctoral students in similar settings (Table 30a). The average numbers of hours worked per week for traineeships in master's departments were slightly lower than that of their doctoral-level counterparts; 18 hours for those at private, and 15 hours for those at public institutions. Very few master's departments offered tuition remission to master's students with a traineeship. Three percent of private institutions offered full tuition remission; 7% offered partial remission. Only 2% of public institutions offered full tuition remission and 3% offered partial tuition remission. Again, these numbers are much lower than that of doctoral-level students in similar settings.
Fellowships/Scholarships. The greatest availability of Fellowships/Scholarships (FS) was to first-year doctoral students in traditional private academic settings (76%), followed by traditional public (72%), professional public (67%), and professional private settings (58%; see Table 30a). It is noteworthy that FS availability was the greatest of all forms of financial support to first-year students in private institutions (in both traditional academic and professional school settings) and to professional public institutions as well. FS availability to advanced students was slightly lower than for first-year students across all settings. Yearly FS stipends for doctoral students in traditional academic settings averaged about $10,000; the largest amount among all forms of financial support. In professional school settings, yearly FS stipends averaged $5,000 for those in public and $3,600 for those in private institutions. The average number of hours worked per week for FS recipients was 20 for those in traditional public and traditional private institutions. For those in professional private institutions, the average was 10 hours per week. The greatest availability of full tuition remission for FS recipients in doctoral departments was for students in traditional private institutions (64%), followed by traditional public (50%), professional public (33%), and professional private institutions (9%). However, partial tuition remission was most available to those in professional private institutions (44%), followed by traditional public (26%), traditional private (24%), and professional public (17%) settings.
FS for first-year students in master's departments were available at 28% of private and 27% of public institutions (Table 30b). There was slightly less availability of FS for advanced students (24% of private and 23% of public institutions). The average stipend was $3,500 at private, and $2,200 at public institutions; both well below the average amount for doctoral students in similar settings (Table 30a). The average numbers of hours worked per week for FS recipients in master's departments were slightly more than half of their doctoral-level counterparts; 13 hours for those at private, and 10 hours for those at public institutions. Twelve percent of master's departments in private institutions offered full tuition remission; 21% offered partial remission. Only 6% of public institutions offered full tuition remission and 7% offered partial tuition remission. Again, these numbers are much lower than that of doctoral-level students in similar settings.