NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED546942
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 244
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2675-0499-9
Graduate School Choice: An Examination of Individual and Institutional Effects
English, David Judson
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, North Carolina State University
While significant scholarly attention focuses on the development and testing of theoretically grounded models of the college choice process at the undergraduate level, far less research explores the area of graduate school enrollments. Graduate school choice, which is defined for the purposes of this paper as the decision to pursue any post-baccalaureate degree program at the masters, doctoral-research, or doctoral-professional practice level, is shaped and determined by a number of individual and organizational level characteristics. The relative influence and predictive power of these variables in modeling graduate school choice behaviors is of significant theoretical and practical interest, given the role graduate education plays in access to certain career paths, career levels, and lifetime earnings. This paper addresses a gap in the literature by advancing a conceptual framework of graduate school choice derived from the work of Perna (2006), drawing significantly from human capital theory and incorporating the salient concepts of cultural and social capital. The methodology employed is a set of generalized hierarchical linear models in which students are nested within undergraduate institutions. The dependent variables of interest were graduate school aspiration, application, and enrollment. The dataset analyzed was the 2000/01 Baccalaureate & Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B:00/01). The nationally representative B&B:00/01 study is comprised of approximately 10,000 students who received a baccalaureate degree from one of the over 1,000 institutions sampled between July 1, 1999 and June 30, 2001. In this study, individuals most likely to aspire to, apply for, and enroll in graduate school were dependent students who obtained high undergraduate grade point averages, majored in the humanities, social or behavioral sciences, mathematics, or life and physical sciences, and attended a master's or doctoral institution. This study also found that, when controlling for all other variables in the models, African-America and Hispanic students are more likely to engage in the graduate school choice process than white students. A key variable of interest, undergraduate indebtedness, does not affect graduate school choice, when accounting for all other variables in the model. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (NCES)