Contact: Ralph Derickson
“This increase in degrees shows that the Commonwealth’s investment in research and higher education in the 1990s is paying off. Highly educated professionals make a more productive workforce for Kentucky.”
-- Jeannine Blackwell,
The Graduate School
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 2, 2004) -- The Graduate School at the University of Kentucky awarded a record 1,502 graduate degrees in 2003-2004. The number of master’s degrees awarded, 1,242, is a new record high and exceeds the previous record of 1,129 set in 1997-98.
The largest increases in graduate degrees awarded were in fields significant to Kentucky’s health, economy and development such as mathematics, economics, business administration, computer science, mechanical engineering, library science, and education administration.
In the 2003-2004 academic year, UK also graduated its first students from a new master’s program in physician assistant studies. A total of 53 students received the advanced degree.
“This increase in degrees shows that the Commonwealth’s investment in research and higher education in the 1990s is paying off,” said Jeannine Blackwell, dean of the Graduate School. “Highly educated professionals make a more productive workforce for Kentucky,” she added.
UK Provost Mike Nietzel said, “This level of graduate degree productivity is an extremely important indicator of UK’s progress as a major research university and shows that we are meeting our responsibility to provide the advanced intellectual capital that is so vital to the Commonwealth’s future.”
There were also a record number of specialist degrees, 27, exceeding the previous record of 20 degrees from 2002-2003. Doctoral degrees were awarded to 233 students, up from 208 in 2002-2003.
“Kentucky needs more highly trained researchers and teachers, and UK aims to increase the size and quality of its student body to fill that need,” Blackwell continued. “We hope to produce 250 doctoral degrees per year by 2006. Growing our master’s programs is a good start for achieving that goal,” she said.