Doctoral Student Assessment

Over the Academic Year of 2014-15, the Graduate College surveyed UIC’s doctoral program directors on how they assess their PhD students, how these students are funded, and what the outcomes of their doctoral students have been in recent times. Fifty-eight (58) doctoral programs surveyed, and 16 responses (28%) were received.

Here is a breakout of the PhD programs that responded, by Graduate Division:

Behavioral and Social Sciences (5)

Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences (4)

Fine Arts and Humanities (2)

Life Sciences (5)

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology
  • Special Education
  • Economics
  • Social Work


  • Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences


  • Germanic Studies
  • History
  • Oral Sciences
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacognosy
  • Microbiology and Immunology
  • Pharmacy Administration

All of these programs reported that all of their doctoral students’ academic progress was assessed in the most recent academic year.

How is assessment performed?

Common Review (generally followed by: Anthropology, Sociology, Education, Social Work, Earth and Environmental Science, Computer Science, Germanic Studies):

  1. Student submits self-assessment;
  2. committee of faculty (including committee chair) meet to discuss;
  3. committee drafts a summary of review and shares with student,
  4. (optional) student may elect to meet with review committee to discuss review

Medicinal Chemistry: Same as Common Review, with addition: DGS will meet with student and mentor if lack of progress is apparent

Chemical Engineering: Similar to Common Review, except that only student, advisor, and DGS are involved in process

History, Pharmacognosy: Similar to Common Review, except that both student and advisor submit independent progress reports to the committee and DGS, and there’s no mention of a final review being shared with student or a follow-up meeting with student

Oral Sciences: Assessment is based on first-authored peer-reviewed publications and/or presentation to scientific meetings.

Economics: Faculty track progress through accomplishment of specific progressive tasks

Pharmacy Administration: Same as Economics, with addition: faculty supervisor (in lab for RA, in course for TA) document assessment

Pharmacology: Research committee evaluates students’ progress twice a year

Microbiology and Immunology: Same as Pharmacology, but only one meeting per year


How many students received stipend?

Oral Sciences, Pharmacology, and Microbiology and Immunology reported that all students received stipends.
Education reported the lowest percentage of students receiving stipends (23%).
All other departments reported 60 – 98% of their students received stipends.


Student Outcomes

82 doctoral graduates reported for last year (AY2013-14) *

  • 24 graduates (13 by Computer Science and Chemical Engineering) went on to be employed in their respective industries.
  • 19 graduates (combined 13 by Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy) went on to post-doctoral positions at US universities. 4 went on to post-doc positions at foreign universities, and 1 went on to a post-doc position in private industry.
  • 4 – medical school
  • 3 – K-12 education
  • 2 – US research institute
  • Remaining outliers: 1 – 2-year college; 1 – non-profit org; 1 – US gov’t; 1 – unknown

101 doctoral graduates reported for 5 years ago (AY2008-09) *

  • 25 – are currently employed at US universities (16 by Microbiology and Immunology)
  • 24 – are currently employed at private companies within their respective industries (14 by Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Engineering)
  • 5 – 2-year college
  • 5 – foreign educational institution
  • 4 – K-12 education
  • 3 – medical school, US gov’t, internship or clinical residency, self-employed, unknown
  • 2 – non-profit organization
  • 1 – unemployed

* – graduate totals may not be actual (according to official campus records), and it is noticeably larger than the aggregated sub-totals of the individual outcome categories due to, presumably, insufficient detailed outcome data on graduates