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2009 Graduate Student Survey


A large number of graduate students (almost 2,000) answered a variety of questions on the 2009 survey. The questions covered such topics as:

  • Influences in choosing a degree program and expected time to degree
  • Satisfaction with quality of degree program, faculty, and courses
  • Professional development assistance with teaching, research, and careers
  • Teaching experience, including the Graduate Teacher Program
  • Research experience, including publications and conferences
  • Thesis/dissertation work and advising
  • Financial support
  • Use of and satisfaction with University resources (e.g., library, communications from the Graduate School)
  • Student life, including housing and social networking
  • Overall educational experience, including obstacles to academic progress, and the importance of skills and the degree to which they were enhanced
  • Post graduation plans, such as employment expectations and starting salary if already hired.

The results, which can be accessed via the links below, consist of descriptive statistics and comments to open-ended questions. The results are organized by college/Arts & Sciences division, ODA department, and student level. (ODA departments are groupings, for analytic purposes, of primarily academic departments; i.e., those that have majors, teach courses, and/or do research.)

  • Results by college/Arts & Sciences division and student level (Excel file)
  • Results by ODA department and student level (large Excel file that you might want to save to your computer rather than opening in your browser)
  • Open-ended Comments--by college/division, ODA department, and student level. This file includes 13 long open-ended items and many short open-ended items that further address many of the topics listed above. Of the 13 open-ended items, four were answered by relatively large numbers of students (between 600 and 1,200):
    • If you did not participate in the Graduate Teacher program, why?
    • What would have been helpful to know when first starting graduate school?
    • Which aspects of your program pleased you the most?
    • What one thing would you change about your graduate student experience?

If you are interested in further analyses or assistance in using any of these results for your department, please contact us at


Office of Data Analytics (ODA) administered the Graduate Student Survey during November 2009, with data collection ending on November 30. The Graduate School, which extensively reviewed and contributed to the content of this survey, uses the results to assess the quality of educational services and graduate student life here on the Boulder campus.

The Graduate Student Survey is administered on this campus every four years, with the next administration scheduled for fall 2013. The survey population consists of all degree-seeking, graduate-level students, except those in Law or MBA programs and those who have requested a privacy flag on their records.

As an incentive to complete the survey, ODA offered $1,000 in cash awards to respondents. This was awarded in four $250 amounts to respondents selected in a random drawing. Additional information concerning ODA survey incentives is described in the survey recognition program.

The online questionnaire* is quite long, due to the scope of the survey. Because the questionnaire was designed to ensure that results can be shared with other AAU public institutions, it contains an additional set of core questions. Nearly all of the questions that were used in the prior (2005) Graduate Student Survey were retained, in order to allow comparisons of student responses over time. Moreover, new questions pertaining both to research misconduct and the ways in which CU-Boulder communicates with graduate students were added to this year's survey.

Overall, 49% percent of graduate students responded to the survey. Response rates were identical for master's and doctoral students. Business and Journalism students responded at relatively high rates (59% and 57%, respectively). Additional information concerning response rates by class level and college/A&S division is available.

*The PDF of the questionnaire that is accessible from this link was created directly from ODA's online survey system. This system generates PDFs that can differ somewhat in appearance from the actual online questionnaires. Consequently, this PDF has a few odd-looking font sizes, minor alignment problems with rows of radio buttons, and some other minor formatting issues that did not appear in the online version that graduate students actually used. 

Last revision 05/02/16

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