Student graduation outcomes are shown here to provide stakeholders with the data regarding the retention and successes of the PhD program.
KGI currently offers a PhD in Applied Life Sciences. Prior to 2014, KGI also offered a closely related PhD in Computational and Systems Biology. Beginning in 2014, this program was merged into the PhD in Applied Life Sciences. Through the Spring of 2017, 11 students have graduated from KGI’s PhD programs. The ethnicity of these graduates was four non-resident aliens, two Asians, and five whites. Six students took 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, and 16 terms, respectively to complete their PhD and five students completed their PhD in 8 terms. Our graduation rate has been 100% since 2010, meaning that all students that have enrolled have graduated or are still in the program.
Because the program is based more on milestones that may be reached at slightly different stages of training, our curriculum map is more based on those milestones rather than specific courses. Also, the pathway into the program is through our MBS program, so many of the milestones build on the student’s MBS experience. Click here to view a description of the PhD program milestones.
Summative assessment for the PhD program has been strong. Of the five students that successfully completed the program, all were able to pass the summative PhD defense and all had published at least one scientific article..
While the small size of the program makes it difficult to generalize from the results of formative assessment based on faculty review rubrics, the results of this analysis is generally encouraging. Communication skills of KGI PhD students are excellent (PLO 3), in part because scientific communication is also a core learning outcome of the MBS program. Students also perform generally well on the scientific knowledge related assessments (PLOs 1, 2, 5 and 6). That being said, there are several cases of students receiving “emerging” scores within the PhD prospectus and progress talks, and one case of a student failing. In the case where the faculty rubric scores rated a student’s prospectus or progress report as “unacceptable”, the student was asked to revise the presentation and was scheduled to give a second talk, which was also scored.
Publication list of current or recently graduated students:
Career outcomes, which constitute indirect evidence of student learning, have been strong for the PhD program. When the program was initially designed, it was envisioned that graduates would be able to secure jobs in the bioscience industry in which a PhD was important, as well as more traditional academic jobs. The 2014 Program Review contains data on career outcomes up to that year, which show that all graduates have secured jobs in industry or universities as postdocs or, in two cases, research associates in computational positions (see table 3). Three PhD students have graduated since this review. Of these students, two students accepted postdoctoral positions (at Stanford University and the University of California, Santa Barbara), and the other accepted a job in a research hospital as a clinical researcher.
Table 3: PhD Graduate Employment (2014 Program Review)