Goal II: Transforming Graduate and Professional Education
We will offer exceptional graduate and professional programs that prepare diverse students to lead, teach, conduct research, provide professional services, become the prominent scholars and societal leaders of the future, and contribute to our region’s prosperity.
Rationale and Readiness
- More than 80% of all doctoral degrees are now awarded outside the
. United States
- In 1966,
citizens earned 79% of the world’s science, technology, engineering and math doctorates. In 2005, they earned 53%. Today, U.S. graduates four times as many engineers as we do. China is 38th nationally in doctoral degrees per capita. Alabama
As with undergraduate education, UAB’s graduate programs are playing a central role in helping the
These students are attracted largely by innovative, targeted programs ranked highly nationally and unique in Alabama, including PhDs in nursing and medical sociology, MS and PhDs in biomedical engineering, a biotechnology master’s, and most programs in Joint Health Sciences.
- In surveying
Alabamabusinesses, the Council of Graduate Deans found that more collaboration between businesses and graduate schools is key to continued growth in technology and service sectors. Investing in graduate education can provide an immediate pay-off as a large majority of new alumni remain in-state and contribute to economic growth. Alabama
- One-sixth of the fastest-growing occupations for 2006-2016 require a master’s or doctoral degree...The projected number of job openings for master’s holders is 409,000 nationally; for doctoral, 437,000.
- Over their lifetimes, master’s degree holders will earn $400,000 more than those with bachelor’s, and doctorates will earn $1.3 million more....Projected lifetime earnings for each class of students with advanced degrees from
universities: $40.4 billion. Alabama
- Over 70% of doctoral degree holders work outside academia.
UAB graduate programs are training students for high-paying, 21st century jobs. Conducted in UAB’s intensely collaborative and entrepreneurial culture, these programs are nationally recognized for their innovation and effectiveness: Nine of them are in the top 25 of U.S. News “Best Graduate Schools” and 16 of 23 doctoral programs (70%) ranked in the recent National Research Council report.
Students also are garnering national and international recognition. Three doctoral students in the
To further motivate students to win competitive awards and funding, UAB created the Individual Fellowship Incentive Program, which pays students $250 per application submitted and has returned $953,000 per year in stipend support on UAB’s investment of $39,000.
Postdoctoral education at UAB is also nationally recognized. In spring 2010, The Scientist magazine ranked UAB in its top 40 “Best Places to Work as a Postdoctoral Fellow.” Among the actual academic institutions in the top 40, UAB ranked fifth (and third among public universities).
UAB’s Office of Postdoctoral Education (OPE), one of the oldest such offices in the nation, continues to provide a distinctive, rewarding postdoc experience as a stepping stone to careers within or outside academia, with programs that enable postdocs to work outside of their regular labs in industry, a biotech lab or in an administrative setting: Ten Career Enhancement Awards ($1,500 each) are granted each year and, in 2010, three Internship Awards ($5,000 each) were given for placements in industrial, administrative or academic settings. OPE also offers workshop series and courses teaching core academic skills, such as grant-writing.
- The percentage of
doctorates earned by African-Americans has been static for a decade, hovering around 6%. U.S.
- In 2008-2009, women for the first time earned a majority of
doctoral degrees, with just over half, but men received 78% of engineering doctorates and 73% of math and computer sciences doctorates. U.S.
- In 2006-2007, there were a quarter of a million international students pursuing graduate degrees in the
, comprising 16% of all graduate students in the nation. United States
UAB’s longstanding commitment to diversity includes recruiting and retaining more minority graduate students. In the past three years, the UAB Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) has supported 25 African-American students in doctoral programs at UAB and 47 at other institutions across the state. In 2009, UAB was among only 15 universities nationwide to receive a five-year, $2 million Research and Academic Career Development Award from NIH to increase the number of minority students entering careers in biomedical research and to expand partnerships with historically black universities. The
As more international graduate students are studying on
Strengthening Our Impact
- Increase recruitment of well-qualified and intellectually curious students.
- Build upon successful efforts in minority recruitment.
- Expand or create programs aligned with the region’s targeted business sectors* or which UAB can uniquely offer.
- Embed entrepreneurial principles and skill sets into appropriate curricula.
- Develop interdisciplinary programs and promote discovery across disciplines.
- Increase support for graduate studies.