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Improving Graduate Education

Improving Graduate Education at Yale University

Under Dean Tom Pollard [2010 - 2014], the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences completed a review of our doctoral programs in 2010-11 with the objective of optimizing outcomes for both students and their programs. Our aim is to make the best use of the time that each student invests in his or her doctoral education at Yale. A survey confirmed that our doctoral programs use many excellent practices to help their students navigate through graduate school, but no program uses all of these practices. Programs with good outcomes support their students with many more of these good practices than programs with poor outcomes. The data suggest that students would be better served if programs implemented good practices more uniformly.

To enhance the success of our doctoral students, we are providing programs with comprehensive data on their students, outcomes and practices as background for discussions about strategies to implement as many good practices as possible. We will expect all programs to adopt the good mentoring practices already used by successful graduate programs across the University.

In addition to strengthening mentoring, we identified other opportunities to help our doctoral students. We are vigorously seeking space for graduate student offices where they are lacking. We are investigating ways to support postdoctoral fellowships in the humanities, to improve support for students seeking positions and to partner with alumni to create internships outside the academy to expose interested students to a range of career opportunities.

For further details, please follow the links at right to view the full text of the original report and the best practices document.