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21st Century Education: Graduate Education


CNS is home to almost 1,200 PhD students in fifteen programs. In 2015–16, the College convened the 21st Century Graduate Education Working Group and charged this committee to recommend bold innovations for the future of graduate education in CNS. The committee recommended changes to improve student readiness for rapid progress through PhD programs, to improve programs' efficiency and flexibility, to enhance mentoring within programs and sharpen the focus of degree pathways, and to prepare students for diverse career paths.

To implement these recommendations, the college envisions a graduate education experience designed to increase the research productivity of our PhD students and improve their preparation for careers both inside and outside of academia. New training delivered in innovative ways and the other changes will make UT Austin PhD recipients more competitive for, and more effective in, their preferred career paths and help the University continue to attract the best graduate students from around the world.


  • Streamline and enhance students' paths to degree.
  • Make graduate education more flexible and efficient.
  • Ensure that all students explore and prepare for desired career
  • Ensure that all PhD students acquire big data skills.

Affiliated initiatives implemented to date:

  • SURE in CNS
  • Inclusive Classroom Efforts
  • New concentrations in communications
  • New concentration in business