The following is a repository for information on research that has been conducted into graduate education.


  • Canadian Graduate and Professional Student Survey (CGPSS)
    The 2016 CGPSS survey has an updated national data set with information from more than 144,000 student responses across 50 universities straddling a six-year time frame. It contains a wealth of information about graduate student satisfaction and experience. Luc Simon’s team at Laval University has summarized the results of many of the survey themes in the following report: Simon CAGS 2016 (.pdf).
  • Inside Graduate Admissions: Merit, Diversity and Faculty Gatekeeping.
  • A project of the Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas (IPLAI), TRaCE is a one–year pilot project which aims to track what PhDs are doing, report that information to universities and the public, connect PhDs inside and outside the university and foster exchanges of knowledge among one another. We want to know what paths PhDs take, especially outside of the academy. Our goal is to create a community of peers for networking and mentorship. We also want to bring valuable data about humanities PhDs to light.
    TRaCE will track ten cohorts of PhD graduates (2004-2014) in at least two departments or programs in the participating universities. The project will cultivate both statistical and discursive, especially narrative, kinds of knowledge.
    TRaCE is an experimental pilot project. It will not yield a complete data-based account of humanities PhD outcomes in Canada. It will develop and test a new design and methodology for data gathering and knowledge creation about the humanities PhD that will be actively interrelated with community building among humanities PhDs and PhD students.
    As well, you may be interested in the following recent publications on graduate education:
    Ontario’s Phds: Where are they now? (.pdf)
    There is also an interactive representation of the data.

  • The 2016 CGS Project on the Master's Degree: The Future of 1.27 Million Master's Candidates from the Council on Graduate Schools.
  • Inside and Outside the Academy: Valuing and Preparing PhDs for Careers, a report prepared by The Conference Board of Canada.
  • Outcomes of Doctoral Program Graduates: Pilot Test of a Strategy to Measure Outcomes Using Exit and Alumni Surveys (.pdf) Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (2014)
  • Canadian Association for Graduate Studies guide addressed to students considering Masters and Doctoral study programs at Canadian universities. The booklet Graduate Studies: A Practical Guide (2012) (.pdf) discusses some of the motives for pursuing graduate studies and provides prospective students with information on things to consider when examining the option of graduate school.
    • The Canadian Graduate and Professional Student Survey (CGPSS) was undertaken in 2007, 2010 and 2013. This survey contains a wealth of information about graduate student satisfaction and experience.
  • Understanding Career Pathways is a project undertaken by the Council of Graduate Schools to evaluate the feasibility of a larger project to develop and enhance templates and processes designed to track the career pathways of PhD alumni of STEM, humanities and social science graduate programs. The project will include the development of a white paper summarizing what is currently known about the demand for career tracking at the doctoral level in STEM, humanities, and social science fields, a survey of all doctoral granting CGS members to formally document processes for tracking alumni from CGS member institutions, and a workshop to include graduate deans, PhD holders and methodology experts. Project activities will conclude in the fall of 2014 with a report recommending next steps. Please visit Understanding Career Pathways for more information.
  • Barry Chiswick, Nicholas Larsen and Paul Pieper produced a paper in December 2010, The Production of PhDs in the United States and Canada (.pdf), delving into the production of PhDs in the post-WW II period, overall and by gender and major discipline.
  • A 2003 study conducted by Frank Elgar on PhD Degree Completion in Canadian Universities (.pdf) for the Graduate Students Association of Canada looked at PhD completion issues.
  • New reports explore the stark realities of the university doctorate
    Doctoral enrolments in Ontario universities have nearly doubled during the last decade, with roughly two-thirds of doctoral students hoping to become university professors. Considering that Canadian full-time professors are now the highest paid in the world—working more hours but enjoying better job satisfaction than their counterparts in other countries—it’s a worthy goal.
    But according to two new reports from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) the demand for full-time faculty positions vastly outstrips the supply. Estimates are that less than 25 percent of PhD students in Canada will secure full-time, tenure-stream research and teaching positions, prompting a growing angst among current and newly minted PhDs about their preparedness for life in a non-academic career.

  • White Paper on the Future of the PhD in the Humanities — product of the Future of Graduate Training in the Humanities Project, funded by a Knowledge Synthesis Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Canada.
  • Research Paper by Darren King, Doctoral Graduates in Canada: Findings from the Survey of Earned Doctorates, 2004-2005 (.pdf) in conjunction with Statistics Canada and Human Resources and Social Development Canada.
  • In December 2012, Robin Saliba prepared a report, PhD Program Structures in Canada, (.pdf) for the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies
  • Report of the Task Force on Doctoral Study in Modern Language and Literature (2014) requested by the MLA Executive Council in February 2012 “to consider the prospects for doctoral study in modern language and literature in the light of transformations in higher education and scholarly communication” (PMLA 127.4 [2012]: 1024), and funded in part by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the task force met at the MLA office in fall 2012 and spring and fall 2013 and at the 2013 and 2014 MLA conventions in Boston and Chicago. The Executive Council received and approved the task force’s report in February 2014. Statements the task force received from departments engaged in projects related to its charge are included in an appendix.
  • Guide to Publication for PhD Students and Researchers
    For PhD students and researchers preparing an article for an academic or scientific journal, or planning one for the near future, this new ebook could help them to achieve their publication goals.
    Released by England-based, and written by an academic author, editor and proofreader, this Guide to Academic and Scientific Publication provides practical, detailed advice on various aspects of planning, preparing, submitting and revising articles for publication in scholarly journals. Its chapters trace the process of producing an academic or scientific paper, starting with a discussion of the essential ingredients of a scholarly article – research, evidence and argument – and the necessity of producing a minimum publishable unit for a top-tier journal. The importance of targeting a reputable journal with the appropriate range, specialization and impact is addressed, as is the need to make an article a perfect fit for the right journal.
    The ebook can be accessed for free by clicking on the blue banner ‘GUIDE TO PUBLICATION’ in the bottom-left corner of each page of their website.

Higher Education Organizations

Commentaries on Graduate Education

  • University Affairs magazine
    • Melonie Fullick, a grad student working on her PhD here at York University, maintains a blog for the University Affairs digital version called Speculative Diction to provide commentary and analysis on higher education policy and practice in Canada, linking them to developments overseas and also to the experiences of those working within the Canadian university system.
  • Hook & Eye is an intervention and an invitation: they write about the realities of being women working in the Canadian university system. They muse about everything from gender inequities and how tenure works, to finding unfrumpy winter boots, decent childcare, and managing life’s minutiae. Ambitious? Obviously. They’re women in the academy.