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%).