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    CGS released the CGS/GRE Graduate Enrollment & Degrees: 2010-2020 report on October 14, 2021. The latest data on graduate enrollments and degrees demonstrate the continued demand for graduate education in the U.S. Both graduate applications (7.3%) and first-time graduate enrollment (1.8%) increased overall for the Fall 2020 semester, welcome news during the disruptive COVID-19 pandemic. While international graduate first-time enrollment declined 37.4%, domestic enrollment grew 12.9% — growth driven, in part, by increases in traditionally underrepresented students. First-time, part-time graduate enrollment increased by 13.5%.

    “Graduate schools had to pivot quickly as the pandemic disrupted traditional modes of instruction, increasing part-time, virtual and hybrid learning options,” said CGS President Suzanne Ortega. “To see continued growth in first-time enrollment rates during a global pandemic shows confidence in the value of graduate education and the importance of increased flexibility in delivery methods.”

    Ortega added that an increase in flexible learning options has supported diversity. “It’s striking that 43.4% of graduate students are enrolled part-time and these students are more likely to be women and students from traditionally underrepresented groups. We’ve long believed that improved access would further diversify the graduate student body, and these data provide supporting evidence.”

    Graduate Enrollment and Degrees: 2010 to 2020 presents the findings of an annual survey of U.S. graduate schools, co-sponsored by CGS and the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) Board. The report includes responses from 558 institutions and presents statistics on graduate applications and enrollment for Fall 2020, degrees conferred in 2019-20, and trend data for one-, five- and ten-year periods. The full report, downloadable data tables and figures, and the CGS member webinar recording are available on the CGS website.


    CGS is the leading source of information, data analysis, and trends in graduate education. Our benchmarking data help member institutions to assess performance in key areas, make informed decisions, and develop plans that are suited to their goals.
    CGS Best Practice initiatives address common challenges in graduate education by supporting institutional innovations and sharing effective practices with the graduate community. Our programs have provided millions of dollars of support for improvement and innovation projects at member institutions.
    As the national voice for graduate education, CGS serves as a resource on issues regarding graduate education, research, and scholarship. CGS collaborates with other national stakeholders to advance the graduate education community in the policy and advocacy arenas.  
    CGS is an authority on global trends in graduate education and a leader in the international graduate community. Our resources and meetings on global issues help members internationalize their campuses, develop sustainable collaborations, and prepare their students for a global future.