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U.S. Graduate Schools See Another Rise in International Applications

August 29, 2007

U.S. graduate schools experienced another year of increases in international applicants, up 9 percent for 2006-2007, reports the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS). Although institutions continue to rebound from the sharp decrease in international applications in 2004, the 2007 increase was less than the 12 percent gain in 2006, according to the recently released Findings from the 2007 CGS International Graduate Admissions Survey:  Phase II: Final Applications and Initial Offers of Admission. For 78 percent of respondents, the number of international applicants was still fewer than in 2003. Preliminary data from CGS are also pointing to an 8 percent increase in offers of admission. Final numbers will be released in late fall.

India, China, and South Korea are the top three countries of origin, accounting for half of all international graduate students in the United States. The largest reported increase in applicants was from China, a 19 percent increase from last year; followed by the Middle East with a 17 percent increase. Applicants had the highest increase in the field of life sciences, 18 percent; next was business with 15 percent.

As higher education becomes more global, CGS surveyed institutions for the first time on partnerships with international institutions in joint- or dual-degree graduate programs.  Overall, 29 percent reported having programs with international higher education institutions. Furthermore, 56 percent of the top 50 institutions enrolling the largest number of international graduate students have at least one collaborative degree program.  Additionally, almost a quarter of respondents plan to establish a collaborative degree program in the next two years. Most of the programs are at the master's level, and have partnerships with European institutions in the field of business.

For more information on the study and additional findings, visit the Council of Graduate Schools’ Web site.