The University of California Graduate Student Experience Survey (UCGSES) is a biennial survey administered at UC’s ten campuses. The survey provides valuable information about graduate and professional students’ experiences such as their satisfaction with their academic programs, experiences with advising, professional development activities, overall well-being, and their post-graduate career plans. Results from the survey are used to better understand graduate and professional students’ behaviors and experiences, assist with basic needs, understand program and campus climate, and assess students’ financial support.
The data tables present summary results of graduate and professional student responses to UCGSES by survey administration year, survey topics, and student demographics. The data tables show the frequency and percentage of students who responded to each survey question.
For more information about UCGSES, please visit the UCGSES survey webpage.
Definitions and Data Sources
Gender identity: Indicates whether a student is female, male, or nonbinary, as reported in UC’s spring term enrollment data. Winter or fall term data is used if spring data is not available. Data on nonbinary gender identity is included starting in 2023.
First generation: Indicates that neither parent of a student has a four-year college degree.
Race/ethnicity: Identifies a student’s race/ethnicity in one of seven categories (i.e., African American, American Indian, Hispanic/Latino(a), Asian, White, International, or Unknown) based on UC’s spring term enrollment data. Winter or fall term data is used if spring data is not available.
Residency: Identifies a student’s residency status in one of four categories (i.e., CA resident, Non-CA resident, Foreign/International, or Unknown) for fee purposes based on UC’s spring term enrollment data. Winter or fall term data is used if spring data is not available. Campus data is used when systemwide enrollment data is not available.
Student level: Indicates a student level or academic status in one of the six categories (i.e., academic doctor, academic master, professional doctor, professional master, professional practice, or unknown) based on UC’s spring term enrollment data. Winter or fall term data is used if spring data is not available.
Discipline: Identifies a student’s discipline in one of the following categories; Arts, Engineering/Computer Sciences, Health Professionals & Clinical Sciences, Humanities, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences/Math, Professional Fields, Social Sciences/Psychology, or Other/Unknown, based on UC’s spring term enrollment data. Winter or fall term data is used if spring data is not available.
As the instrument has changed over the years, survey questions and their order in the instrument across administrations may be different. For comparison purposes, survey responses were grouped and presented by topic (i.e. program quality, advising experience, program climate, etc.) following UCGSES 2021 structure.
Overall, UCGSES systemwide response rates are between 25 to 30 percent. However, they vary across campuses and student characteristics. It is important to note that highly aggregated data may not fully represent responses of all campuses and student groups. To better understand graduate and professional students’ experiences, users are recommended to explore the data by campus, administration year, and student characteristics, as students at different campuses may have different experiences.
The dashboard shows a distribution of responses to each survey item. When interpreting results, especially by student characteristic, please keep in mind that statistical tests were not conducted to determine significant differences.
As some survey items come from different modules and/or respondents may skip some questions/items, the total number of respondents can vary from item to item.
Percentages may not sum up to 100 percent due to rounding.
Items with less than 10 valid responses to an item or a question will not be displayed.
If no respondent selected a particular answer choice, a blank will appear instead of a zero for the response.