A Preliminary Investigation of the Structure and Nature of Geoscience Graduate Programs in the United States

PDF versionPDF version

In an effort to support the NSF-funded project, Universal Skills for Geoscience Graduate Student Success in the Workforce, an analysis of all the geoscience graduate programs has been conducted in order to identify and categorize the defining programmatic elements with the goal of connecting these elements with student outcomes and student success after graduation. This data collection is particularly important at the graduate level as the fundamental structure of programs can vary greatly from traditional thesis and dissertation driven research programs to cohort-based, interdisciplinary, and interdepartmental programs. Data was compiled through publicly available sources, such as departmental websites, and through direct canvasing of graduate programs through the distribution of a survey. By creating a database on a suite of descriptions and parameters all geoscience graduate programs can be objectively categorized based on their underlying structures so that further investigations into student outcomes, departmental outcomes, preparation for the workforce, and other parameters can be considered in the context of the underlying structure and nature of these programs.

This presentation will present the initial categorization of geoscience graduate programs based on their programmatic structures, as well as preliminary investigations of other metrics and parameters in relation to program structure.

  • Carolyn Wilson*
  • Christopher Keane*
  • Annika Leiby*
  • American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2018