Graduate Students Share Opinions on Mason Experience

Posted: June 21, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Nicholas Zinzer

Last month, the Graduate Student Exit Survey Report for 2004-05 was released by the Office of Institutional Assessment. The GSES documents graduate students’ perspectives on their experience as students at George Mason.

George Mason University awarded 2,648 graduate and law degrees to 2,644 graduates in 2004-05. Eighty-two percent of the students completed the Graduate Student Exit Survey when they initially applied for graduation.

Following are some highlights:

  • Overall, doctoral students are the most satisfied with advising and mentoring while law students were the least satisfied.

  • Ninety-one percent of Mason students agreed that the “intellectual caliber of students in the program is high.” Of law students, 99 percent agreed with the statement.
  • Of the students who were asked whether “interactions among students and faculty are characterized by mutual respect,” 44 percent strongly agreed and 53 percent agreed with the statement.
  • Forty-four percent of students strongly agreed that “faculty members were qualified to teach their courses,” and 51 percent of respondents agreed with the statement.
  • All surveyed students agreed that they have learned a great deal as a student in their department. Ninety-two percent of students would recommend their graduate program to prospective students.
  • Master’s and doctoral students indicated that their programs already place a high emphasis on making “connections between ideas and practices,” but they feel it should be emphasized even more. Students also want a greater emphasis on “applied research.”

The report noted some discrepancies between the different types of graduate students.

“Doctoral students, followed by law students, are more likely than master’s students to say their program was intellectually challenging and stimulating,” the report said. “Doctoral and master’s students are significantly more likely than law students to agree with the following statements: ‘The courses I took were valuable to me;’ ‘my graduate school experiences were very relevant to my career goals and directions;’ ‘I feel that I am part of a graduate university learning community;’ and ‘Courses listed in the catalog are offered frequently enough for timely completion of the degree requirements.’”

For the full In Focus report on the Graduate Student Exit Survey for the 2004-05 academic year, click here or call the OIA at 703-993-8834.

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