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In 1999–2000, approximately 2.7 million students were enrolled in graduate and first-professional programs in colleges and universities in the United States. Using data from the 1999–2000 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:2000), this report profiles students in various degree programs and examines how they paid for their education, with particular attention to their use of teaching and research assistantships. In addition, the report contains a compendium of tables providing detailed data on four topics: student and enrollment characteristics, types of financial aid, sources of financial aid, and employment. For each topic, highlights of major findings are also included.


Profile of Graduate and First-Professional Students

In 1999–2000, more than one-half (58 percent) of all graduate and first-professional students were enrolled at the master's level, with the majority of them enrolled less than full time, full year (figure A). Another 13 percent were enrolled in doctoral programs and an additional 12 percent in first-professional programs; the latter were more likely than the former to attend full time, full year. The remaining 16 percent were enrolled in other graduate programs, including postbaccalaureate certificate programs and nondegree programs. Most of these students were enrolled less than full time, full year.

Master's degree students

At the master's degree level, approximately one-half of all students were working on either a master's degree in business administration (M.B.A.) (20 percent) or a master's degree in education (28 percent). The latter could include a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.), Master of Education (M.Ed.), or Master of Arts (M.A.) or Science (M.S.) with a major in education. The rest were working on an M.A. or M.S. degree in a field other than education (31 percent) or on a different master's degree such as a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.), Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.), or Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) (21 percent).

M.B.A. students were predominantly male (60 percent), and about two-thirds waited 3 or more years after earning their bachelor's degree before enrolling in the M.B.A. program. Most worked while enrolled (87 percent), and 75 percent of those who worked did so full time.
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