Doctoral students at the University of Manitoba : factors affecting completion rates and time to degree by gender and by field of study

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Lussier, Thelma G.
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The completion rate and median time to degree of three doctoral cohorts at the University of Manitoba were analyzed by gender and by field of study and the results were compared to studies elsewhere. To evaluate factors affecting students' progress, a mail-out questionnaire was sent to the entire 1984-85 cohort which included those who had graduated, withdrawn, or who were still enroled. Completion rates and time to degree were generally more favourable at the University of Manitoba, revealed less disparity between women and men, and displayed different patterns by field of study, compared to those reported at other universities in Canada. Results of the survey suggest that the progress of students is affected by the financial and emotional support they receive, the various components of the advisory relationship, and the departmental "climate." Women experienced almost every aspect of the doctoral program differently, and with different intensity, leading to the conclusion that studies must take gender into account. Recommendations are made for other researchers, the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and the University of Manitoba.