Student Achievement Success Data

Pardee RAND Graduate School tracks the success of our students in several ways. A key factor is the graduation rate: what percentage of enrolled students eventually graduate. Another important metric for the effectiveness of the Pardee RAND Graduate School Ph.D. program is progress toward graduation or time to completion.

We believe a good test of our educational effectiveness is to let the market tell us how well we are doing. Our students subject their work to that "market test" when they submit their work to journals for publication or when they submit papers and posters for consideration for presentation at conferences. In both cases, we have seen impressive success.

One final indication that our graduates are leaving Pardee RAND Graduate School with the knowledge and skills that we desire them to obtain is demonstrated by their job market performance.

Graduation Rates

Our graduation rates in nearly all of the categories improved between 1995 and 2010, in some cases rather dramatically. We attribute this increase in completion rates to an improved admissions screening process, the increase in financial support provided to students over that period including increases in scholarships and dissertation awards, the increase in mentoring that has been made available as a result of an increase in the size of the Pardee RAND staff and the institution of formal faculty and student mentors, and improvements in the core and elective curriculum.

As of 2013 our 10-year completion rates (2004–2013) are 74%.

Graduates Graduates
+ Withdrawals
% Completed
By Previous Degree Level
Baccalaureate 26 37 70%
Master 53 68 78%
PhD 0 1 0%
Other deg (JD, MD) 2 3 67%
By Age (at enrollment)
Less than 25 27 39 69%
25-29 39 46 85%
30-34 6 11 55%
35-39 5 7 71%
40 and older 4 6 67%
Overall Graduation Rates 81 109 74%
By Gender
Female 33 42 79%
Male 48 67 72%
By Citizenship
US 55 70 79%
Non-US 26 39 67%
By Bachelor's Degree Category
Arts/Humanities 3 4 75%
Business Management 7 10 70%
Economics 29 39 74%
Engineering 9 13 69%
Mathematics 9 13 69%
Physical/Natural Science 9 11 82%
Other 5 6 83%
Social Science 10 13 77%
By Ethnicity
African American 1 2 50%
Asian or Pacific Islander 7 7 100%
Hispanic, Latino, Puerto Rican 0 3 0%
Non-resident Alien 26 39 67%
White other than Hispanic 47 58 81%
Overall Graduation Rates 81 109 74%

Time to Completion

As of 2013, the average time for completion was just under 5 years (59 months).

Throughout its history, Pardee RAND has maintained a higher 5-year completion average than other Ph.D. programs. Data from a recent study by the Ph.D. Completion Project of the Council of Graduate Schools showed an average 5-year completion rate by discipline between a low of 11.8% in the humanities to a high of 34.5% in engineering. Pardee RAND 5-year completion rates are over 40%. The average time to completion for students who graduate is about 5 years. And over the past 10 years, our overall completion rate is 74%. Our withdrawal rate averages about 12% of all matriculated students over that same time period.

Chart displaying time to completion for Pardee RAND students

Student Publications

We track student publications primarily through the RAND publications database. This records all RAND publications that students authored or co-authored as well as publications in non-RAND peer-reviewed journals and other publications that they subsequently recorded in RAND’s database. A list of recent student-authored publications is maintained online.

The tables below provide data on the number of registered publications by students who have graduated from the program. The numbers reflect publications that students worked on while at Pardee RAND, but in some cases publication occurred after their exit date from the program.

Pardee RAND Air Force fellows are included in this data; note that these students are required to complete their Ph.D. within three years and often have lower rates of publication than other students not on this limited timeline.

Pardee RAND does not currently have a systematic way of collecting data on the publication records of our alumni, but we are exploring the possibility of conducting a survey of our graduates at the 5-year and the 10-year mark to collect data on their career paths and contributions to the field including publications.

Average Number of Registered Publications at Graduation by Cohort

Entrance Year Average Number of Publications per Student
2003 8.50
2004 5.15
2005 7.39
2006 7.38
2007 6.67
2008 6.50
2009 2.00
2010 4.00
Overall 6.44

Number of Registered Publications by Cohort, as of May 2014

Entrance Year Publications Graduates from Cohort
2003-2004 68 8
2004-2005 67 13
2005-2006 133 18
2006-2007 96 13
2007-2008 80 12
2008-2009 52 8
2009-2010 10 5
2010-2011 16 4
Grand Total 544 81

Publications by Cohort

Chart of total publications by cohort (visualized data from tables above)

Conference Participation

Each year PRGS makes funding available for our students to support travel to professional conferences. Students are required to apply for these funds and priority is given to students who have had a paper accepted for presentation. Funds are also made available to enable students to present posters, participate in panel discussions, attend competitive workshops and seminars, or attend conferences directly related to their dissertation research. We have also made funds available to enable individual students to travel to a conference to receive an award or to appear on TV.

Funding to Support Student Conference Attendance

Fiscal Year Number of
Presenting at
per Student
FY12 19 3 $11,157 $ 587
FY13 11 3 $ 8,971 $ 816
FY14 (as of mid-year) 21 4 $12,242 $ 583

Job Placement

Of the students who have graduated since 2009, more than 95% have secured employment within 6 months of graduation in a field directly related to policy analysis.

Moreover, in recent years as our alumni network has grown and strengthened, there is a clear trend that where one Pardee RAND alumnus is hired, the organization is positively disposed to hiring future graduates. Some recent examples include: Amgen, where we now have three recent alumni; the Centers for Disease Control; Abt Associates; and the Strategic Data Fellowship run by Harvard’s School of Education, the Wallace Foundation, BCG, Northrup Grumman, California Legislative Analysts Office, LMI, CEB (Corporate Executive Board), Pepperdine University, and Clemson University.

For more information, see our Career Services Alumni Careers page.


Saved Items


  • New for You
  • [an error occurred while processing this directive]
  • View All »