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Repository for Administrative Data and Reports

Graduate School Explorer

Last Updated

This data visualization reports student metrics over the past ten years for degree programs (academic major plans) in the graduate career. It provides information on student admissions, enrollment, funding, degrees, program completion, and career outcomes.

Report URL
Data Cookbook URL (requires authorization)
Data Domain(s)
Student Record
Access Restrictions
Student Record Data Restricted
Data Source Information
InfoAccess, Other
Data View Information
Update Schedule
Data are updated nightly. Reported terms are updated at the start of each term.
Responsible Office
Graduate School Office of Academic Analysis, Planning, & Assessment
Important Notes


Information is limited to degree programs (academic plan majors) within the Graduate Career. More information on Graduate School degree programs can be found at

Displayed counts are distinct headcounts within specified filter conditions with the exception of degrees which are distinct counts of degrees.

The dashboard race/ethnicity filter allows the user to view data for specific student race/ethnicity groups. In cases where a student's record specifies more than one race/ethnicity group (e.g. the student identifies as 'White' & 'Hispanic/Latino(a)') the displayed count will only include the student once even if both race/ethnicity groups are selected in the filter. All dashboard counts are distinct headcounts within specified filter conditions to avoid double counting.

More information on Advanced Opportunity Fellowships and the Graduate Research Scholar program can be found at

More information on pooled and non-pooled tuition programs can be found at

Graduate School admissions reporting, including the reporting of new enrollments, is limited to new applicants (i.e. those who not previously enrolled in the plan/subplan they are applying to) who applied via the Graduate School application system. Students entering a new major plan via the Graduate School add/change process are not included in admissions reporting but are reported as new plan enrollments in the Enrollment section of the workbook. 

Applicants receiving a departmental recommendation for admission (action reason codes G60, G61, G63, G65, G66) are counted as admitted. Applicants may also be counted as admitted if they are approved for admission by the Graduate School Office of Admissions (action reason codes G11, G13, G17, G18).


Enrollment data are as of the end of the term, and may therefore differ from other official publications using tenth day frozen enrollment records.

New plan enrollment headcounts represent all students entering an academic plan major for the first time. This includes both students entering the plan as new applicants, and those entering the plan through the Graduate School add/change process.


Funding data are derived from university frozen payroll snapshots taken annually in October and March.

Appointments equivalent to 33% time or higher are considered 'Full Funding' as they typically qualify the student for tuition remission and other benefits such as health insurance. Students with full funding also earn a monthly stipend on top of tuition remission. Students with multiple concurrent appointments with a combined FTE (Full Time Equivalent) of 33% or higher are also categorized as receiving full funding.

Students with multiple appointments are counted once in the appointment with the highest FTE to determine their primary appointment, or in the following order for those with multiple appointments with the same FTE: fellow, trainee, research assistant, teaching assistant, project assistant.  Lecturer (SA) appointments are included in the Teaching Assistant funding category.

The Other Funding category refers to students with primary funding other than university appointments. It includes both those with no university appointment, and those with university appointments totaling less than 33% FTE.

Time to Degree

Time to degree is calculated as elapsed years from academic program entry date to degree conferral date. Doctoral time to degree therefore includes time spent in a master’s plan prior to the doctoral plan if the master’s plan was in the same academic program.


Degree completion rates are measured at the end of spring, 2023, and can be calculated for plan entrance cohorts between academic year 2004-2005 and academic year 2021-2022 based on the specified cohorts in the Plan Entrance Year filter.

Degree completion rates are only calculated and displayed for the academic plan. This means that when the Named Option filter is applied, the displayed completion rates will continue to reflect completion of the parent academic plan for students enrolled in the specified named option(s).  In cases where students change or drop a named option over the course of their graduate program but still complete the parent academic plan, the displayed rates will be higher than if they were calculated specifically at the named option level. 

Degree completion rates are only calculated for admitting plans. When the academic plan is admitting but has a non-admitting named option, the plan completion rate calculation excludes students earning degrees in the non-admitting named option.

Doctoral Career Outcomes

Alumni career data (5, 10 & 15 years post-degree) were collected using online searches of public websites (e.g. LinkedIn, university websites, etc.). Reported career data are based on online employment records accessed in January, 2021, January, 2022, & January, 2023. Reported data are for alumni who earned doctorates in calendar years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017 & 2018.

Employment status and job data at time of graduation were collected via exit surveys from students earning doctorates in academic years 2020-2022.

Employment sector and career type categories are based on the NIH BEST (Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training) consortium's PhD career taxonomy. More information on the taxonomy can be found on the 'Data Collection and Technology Resources' page at


Name Functional Definition Data Domains
Academic Award Completion Term

The academic term in which an academic award was granted.

Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Award Plan Academic plan corresponding to an academic award. Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Award School/College

School or college of the academic award. In general, each academic award is associated with a unique academic plan, and each academic plan is part of a unique academic program, and every academic program is associated with a unique school or college. "MSN"/"UW-Madison" is used when an academic award has no school or college associated with it (such as an individualized major or special graduate committee award) or for an additional major.

Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Plan

An area of study--such as a major, minor, or certificate--that is within an academic career.

Academic Planning, Student Record
Academic Year (Su,Fa,Sp)

An academic year consists of sequential summer, fall, and spring terms. For example, the 2021-22 academic years includes summer 2021, fall 2021, and spring 2022.

Academic Planning
Admission Rate

Percentage of applicants offered admission.

Student Record
Admit (Graduate Career)

Recommendation by an academic department to the Graduate School to admit a graduate applicant. Valid department reason codes in the Graduate School application system are G60 (full admission), G61 (admission on probation), G63 (master's only admission), G65 (admission with deficiencies), and G66 (admission on probation with deficiencies).

Applicants may also be counted as admits if they are approved for admission by the Graduate School Office of Admissions. Valid Graduate School action reason codes are G11 (admit-full standing), G13 (admit-missing final transcript), G17 (admit on probation), and G18 (temporary admit on probation).

Admissions, Student Record
Advanced Opportunity Fellowship (AOF)

Advanced Opportunity Fellowships (AOF) are intended to support the recruitment and retention of highly qualified underrepresented students in UW–Madison graduate programs. Graduate program applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and who meet at least one of the following basic criteria are flagged in the Graduate Application system as eligible to receive the AOF:

  1. McNair students: students who participated in a Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program; OR
  2. Students from the following racial/ethnic groups: a) African American or Black; b) American Indian or Alaskan Native; c) Hispanic/Latino; d) Cambodian, Vietnamese, Laotian, or Hmong; e) Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; OR
  3. Economically disadvantaged students: a) first-generation college students who participated in one of the following TRIO programs: Upward Bound, Talent Search, Educational Opportunities Centers, or Student Support Services; b) first-generation college students who graduated from the PEOPLE Program; or c) UW–Madison bachelor's degree recipients who were in the FASTrack or BANNER programs.

Students who do not meet any of the above criteria may still be nominated for the fellowship by their academic program. Nominations are judged on a case by case basis.

Financial Aid

An individual who has submitted an application to be considered for admission.

Student Record
Career (Academic Structure)

A broad grouping of students related to their degree objectives and admitting office. Used for tuition charges, awarding financial aid, grading scales and other operational functions.

Academic Planning, Student Record

A specific group of students established for tracking purposes based on an event shared by the group of students. Examples include entrance cohorts and graduation cohorts.

Student Record
Degree Level

The type of award granted to a student who graduates in a given plan code.

Valid Values:


Research Doctorate
Clinical Doctorate

Academic Planning, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplinary Division

The four divisions established on the basis of related subjects of teaching and research and are independent of colleges, schools, and departments, and include: Biological Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences.

Academic Planning, Employee Record
Enrollment Rate

Percentage of admitted applicants who enrolled.

Student Record
Fellow (Graduate)

Fellow appointments are for UW-Madison graduate students holding a fellowship which provides freedom to devote full-time to obtaining an advanced degree.

Employee Record, Student Record
Full Funding Appointment

Graduate research assistant, teaching assistant, project assistant, fellow and trainee appointments equivalent to 33% time or higher are considered 'Full Funding' as they typically qualify the student for tuition remission and other benefits such as health insurance. Students with multiple concurrent appointments with a combined FTE (Full Time Equivalent) of 33% or higher are also categorized as receiving full funding.

Employee Record, Financial Aid, Student Record
Graduation Rate

The percentage of students in a cohort who have graduated as of a specified measurement period.

Student Record
International Students

Non-immigrant visitors who come to the United States temporarily to take classes.

University of Wisconsin - Madison
Legal Sex

A person's biological or reassigned sex as printed on legal documents.

Categories include Female (F), Male (M), Other Legal Sex (O), undisclosed (U).

Definition provided by the Data Guidelines for Legal Sex and Gender, endorsed by the Data Governance Council Feb 20, 2024 and published at

Core Person
Named Option

A named option is a formally documented sub-major within an academic major program.

Academic Planning, Student Record
New Plan Enrollment

A student in the first term of an academic plan.  New enrollments may be either new to a career or entering a new academic plan within a career. 

Admissions, Student Record
Non-pooled Tuition

Tuition that directly supports an organizational unit instead of being combined with other revenues for general support of the institution.


An individual continuing training after receipt of the doctorate who is not a matriculated student. There are three types of postdoctoral appointments at UW-Madison: Research Associates, Postdoctoral Fellows, and Postdoctoral Trainees.

Employee Record, Research Administration
Primary Funding Category

The title category of a graduate student assistant with a tuition remission-eligible appointment. Title categories include Fellow, Trainee, Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant, & Project Assistant. For students with multiple eligible appointments, the appointment with the highest FTE is considered the primary funding category. For students with multiple appointments at the same FTE, the primary funding category is based on the following order: Fellow, Trainee, Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant, Project Assistant. 

Employee Record, Financial Aid, Student Record
Program (Academic Structure)

A group of academic plans that share characteristics within an academic group. Academic program code controls administrative functions such as min credits, max credits, tuition rates, academic standing, grading schemes, full-time/part-time standing, financial aid primacy number.

Academic Planning, Student Record
Project Assistant

Project assistant or program assistant appointments are for UW-Madison graduate students who are employed to assist with research, training, or other academic programs or projects.

Employee Record, Student Record
Race/Ethnicity (Federal)

The methodology specified by the federal government for classifying individuals' self-reported race/ethnicity into a single race/ethnicity category. An individual who self-reports as Hispanic ethnicity is classified as Hispanic even if other racial identities are provided. Individuals who do not self-report as Hispanic are classified in their single race category if only one race was provided, or in a "2 or more races" category if more than one race is provided. Student race/ethnicity only applies to domestic (non-international) students.

Employee Record, Student Record
Research Assistant

A research assistant is a UW-Madison graduate student working towards a Master's or Ph.D. degree. An appointment involves work done primarily for the benefit of the individual's course of study and research and directly applicable to the individual's thesis or dissertation.

Employee Record, Student Record
Retention Rate

The percentage of students in a cohort who are enrolled in one measurement period and also enrolled in a subsequent measurement period.

Student Record
School/College of Academic Plan

Indicates the school/college that has ownership of the academic plan.

Academic Planning, Student Record

The compensation rate of a tuition remission-eligible graduate student assistantship. The stipend is money directly paid to the student and does not include the value of tuition remission or other benefits associated with the appointment. 

Employee Record, Financial Aid, Student Record
Teaching Assistant

Teaching assistant appointments are for UW-Madison graduate students who have been assigned teaching responsibilities in an instructional department program under the supervision of a faculty member of the academic staff.

Employee Record, Student Record

A period of instruction: Fall, Spring, or Summer.

University of Wisconsin - Madison
Time to Degree

Elapsed Calendar Time to Degree in years from academic career matriculation term start date to degree completion term conferral date. This is displayed to three decimal places.

Academic Planning, Student Record
Trainee (Graduate)

Trainee appointments are for UW-Madison graduate students who are supported by a traineeship while pursuing a particular course of study. Traineeships are ordinarily sponsored through an extramural training grant and are designated as traineeships under the terms of the grant.

Employee Record, Student Record
Underrepresented Student of Color

A domestic (non-international) student who identifies, alone or in combination with other racial/ethnic categories, as African American/Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Hispanic/Latino(a), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, or one or more of the following Asian subcategories (Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, or Vietnamese).

Student Record
Yield Rate

The percentage of admitted applicants who enrolled.