Completing the Characteristics of Doctoral Programs Report

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) requires each doctoral program at a public university to provide data on prescribed characteristics.  UT Austin has reported on 18 characteristics of doctoral programs since 2009.  In fall 2017, the Characteristics report was updated to include additional characteristics that may be particularly relevant for professional doctoral programs; namely, professional licensure exam pass rates and average program tuition.  Effective for the 2017 reporting cycle, there are characteristics which all doctoral programs report and characteristics that only research or professional programs report. The official reports will be published each year at https://gradschool.utexas.edu/academics/programs/characteristics-of-doctoral-programs.

Overview

The following information describes the data required and the process for preparing and delivering the report to the Graduate School. Some of the data has been compiled in a collaborative effort between the Graduate School and the Provost's Office and conforms to THECB's 7-Year Program Review criteria.

The focus of the Characteristics of Doctoral Programs reports should be to present data about the doctoral programs of the university from the perspective of the department or program while maintaining as consistent an approach to the data as possible. To that end, uniform data and reporting forms will be provided to all doctoral programs by the Graduate School with the expectation that the reports will be annotated as needed to align university and departmental information where those conflict. The reporting forms will be prepopulated with characteristics and data that are consistent with each program’s designation (either research doctoral or professional doctoral) in the University’s degree inventory. 

By THECB definition, programs are included only if in existence three or more years and are defined at the 8-digit Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code level.

GSIS Data

In a collaborative effort between the Graduate School and the Provost's Office, data and statistics have been compiled for many of the characteristics through a consolidation of university internal records. These data and statistics are available in the Graduate Student Information System (GSIS) under "THECB Reports - Doctoral Characteristics Reports."   Graduate coordinators and graduate advisers have access to GSIS, and designated preparers will be granted access upon request.

GSIS reports are a composite of graduate student data currently on file in various university information systems. Programs should vet these data and use the “Comments” field to describe differences, if any, between GSIS-produced data and the data maintained within your program or department; however, we ask that you please report these discrepancies to the Graduate School in an e-mail so that we may update our source systems.  GSIS is intended to help programs with this reporting task but is limited by available data. We need your help to improve our shared-information resources.

Due Date

Your electronic report to the Graduate School is due Friday, December 1, 2017.  Send your completed spreadsheet as an attachment via email to Danielle Thoma. Please do not reformat the report or convert to Word or PDF. 

Completing the Form

On November 1, preparers will be able to download their reporting form through UT BOX.  The reporting form will include data for many of the characteristics pre-populated from the Graduate Student Information System (GSIS).  

After downloading the reporting form for your program from your college/school's folder, it is your responsibility to review the data that has been prepopulated from the GSIS. You may include supplemental information or explanatory notes in the “Comments” field, as necessary, to describe the data presented. You may also include corrections in the “Comments” field if your data do not agree with information obtained from the GSIS. Please do not change the data that has been filled in for you. Read the Characteristics of Doctoral Programs Frequently Asked Questions for additional information on completing the form.

After reviewing report data prepopulated from the GSIS, we need your input for the remaining items of the report. Information for the following measures is not available from central sources. Please provide the best information that you have available.

Complete for all doctoral programs:

  • Program's Website
    • Please provide your program's URL at the top of the form.
  • Item 5 - Admission Criteria
    • In the "Comments" field, include either the URL for your program's admission section in the Graduate Catalog or you may copy and paste that information into the response field.
  • Item 8 – Core Faculty Publications
    • Your faculty are the best source for information about their publications, as they may have gathered this information for internal use or for reporting within the university. Please provide the best information you have available.
  • Item 12 - Date of Last External Review
    • There may not have been an external review. If so, note in the "Comments" field.
  • Item 13 - External Program Accreditation
    • There may (or probably will not) have been an accreditation review. If so, note in the "Comments" field.

Complete for research doctoral programs:

  • Item 18R - Student Publications and Presentations 
    • There is not an official database of this information but you may have previously started gathering this information for internal use or for reporting within the university. Please provide the best information that you have available.

Complete for professional doctoral programs:

  • Item 19P – Average Tuition and Fees to Complete the Degree.                                           
    •  Report the combined annual tuition and program fees multiplied by the average number of years that graduates took to complete the degree for each of the three most recent years.
  • Item 20P – Students Passing Licensure Exams.                                                                         
    •  Report the number and percentage of students in the cohort passing licensure exams for each of the three most recent years.  Include both first-time and repeat test takers.  If there is no relevant licensure exam for the discipline, write “not applicable.”

Questions may be sent to Danielle Thoma.  They will be shared with the GSIS Team to be answered as soon as possible.