Doctoral Exit Survey

The university surveys graduating doctoral students every year to gauge their perceptions of the doctoral experience and document their plans post-graduation. The Doctoral Exit Survey was developed by the Association of American Universities Data Exchange (AAUDE), and UT Austin’s responses are submitted to them annually.

The Graduate School's website hosts a series of dashboards summarizing the data collected between 2014-15 and 2018-19. You can also review the results from the most recent academic year on this page. 


Key findings from the five-year longitudinal study

  • Results are consistent across all five academic years.

  • Across academic years, 82.3% of doctoral students rated their overall academic experience as ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ and the 75.4% rated the teaching in their program as ‘very good’ or ‘excellent.’

  • 90% or more of students rated the support they received selecting a dissertation topic, conducting dissertation research, and writing their dissertation as ‘helpful’ or ‘very helpful.’ Career support ratings were slightly lower with 76.7% of students rating the support they received with exploring academic career options as ‘helpful’ or ‘very helpful’ and 56.4% of students rating the support they received with exploring nonacademic career options as ‘helpful’ or ‘very helpful.’

  • Students were asked how significant various academic and personal obstacles were to their academic success. The two obstacles most likely to be rated as significant were financial/work commitments (55.6%) and family obligations (41.5%).