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Grad Focus

Baylor Grad School One of the Nation's Best at Student Support

The decision to go to graduate school is a big one. Deciding where to go can be even tougher. There are perhaps more opportunities now than ever, especially considering the growth of online-only and limited-residency degrees. Whichever path you choose, graduate school is a huge investment of time and resources.

To help potential students determine which school is best for them, the National Research Council (NRC) evaluates over 5000 programs at more than 200 institutions on an array of factors including reputation, faculty productivity, and student outcomes. NRC's "Student Support and Outcomes" rankings are a composite of five factors, including the percentage of first-year students receiving full financial support, Ph.D. completion percentage, and median time to degree. Basically, how much does it cost, how long does it take to finish, and what happens when you do. In those terms, Baylor's graduate school rates among the nation's best.

Six of the nine doctoral programs in NRC's 2010 ranking placed Baylor programs in the top ten of their fields. Religion ranked ninth, Mathematics ranked sixth, and Biochemistry was fourth. Statistical Science and Sociology both ranked third in their respected disciplines, and English was the top program overall.

That means that most graduate students in those programs have some sort of assistantship and some sort of tuition remission. Not only do they get a discount on the education, but they also have a job when they get on campus. In addition, students in those programs finish quickly and find jobs in their field when they are done.

For example, of the 119 English programs in the study, Baylor was the only program to provide 100% funding and boast a 100% completion rate, and Baylor graduate students earned a Ph.D. in an average of five years. Other schools in the top ten include Brown, Stanford, Harvard, Cornell, and Notre Dame. Additionally, Baylor and Catholic University were the only schools in the study to provide assistantships to 100% of doctoral students.

Dr. James Barcus, graduate program director for the English program, acknowledged the support the program has received in recent years.

"Baylor has offered the Ph.D. in English for 50 years, but recently the University has provided a level of support that has allowed the English Department to build on the hard work of earlier chairs and graduate program directors," Barcus said. "The result is that the publications and strong teaching of faculty have attracted a superb group of graduate students who are distinguishing them as scholar/teachers around the United States."

Not only does Baylor provide significant measurable support in a traditional, "brick and mortar" setting, but Baylor also delivers a tremendous amount of intangibles. Graduate housing, faith and service based initiatives, parental leave programs, and interdisciplinary student organizations make Baylor a graduate community unlike any other.

Learn more about all of the graduate opportunities at Baylor here.