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October 17, 2012
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Top Graduate School Programs For 2010-11

Ranked by number of graduates (not including for-profit institutions)

By Lorie Hailey

The University of Kentucky had the highest number of students complete graduate school program graduates in the 2010-11 academic year.

Because the economic downturn flooded the workforce with more available workers, many jobseekers and under-employed individuals in Kentucky have decided the best route to high-paying, full-time employment includes a stop at one of the state’s graduate school programs.

Enrollment in Kentucky graduate school programs has steadily increased in recent years, according to data provided by the Council on Postsecondary Education. In the fall of 2009, enrollment was 27,963; in the fall of 2010, it was 29,016. (The 2010-11 school year is the most recent data available.)

Doctor’s degree programs, professional practice and research/scholarship, had an enrollment of 8,009 students in the fall of 2009, and 8,393 in the fall of 2010. Nearly 18,500 students were enrolled in master’s degree programs in the fall of 2009, while just over 19,300 were enrolled the following year.

The most popular professional practice doctor’s degree programs, according to the number of students enrolled in the fall of 2009 and 2010, were juris doctorate programs. In both academic years, more students were enrolled in business-related master’s degree programs than any other program. Special education teaching master’s degree programs came in at a close second in 2009; in 2010, social work master’s degree programs were the second most popular.

Degrees conferred

For the 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years, more law degrees were granted than any other doctor’s degree, 274 and 322 respectively. The second most popular doctor’s degree was medicine (135 graduates) in the 2009-10 school year, and physical therapy (150 graduates) in 2010-11.

In the 2009-10 academic year, 7,284 master’s degrees were earned; in 2010-11, 7,596 students graduated with master’s degrees. Both years, the most popular master’s degrees conferred were business/commerce, 763 and 611 graduates, respectively, followed by special education teaching (481) and social work (380).

Forty-five other graduate-level degrees (postbaccalaureate and postmaster certificates and specialist degrees) were conferred in the 2009-10 year; 423 were earned in the 2010-11 school year.

1. University of Kentucky, Lexington
Doctor’s degrees (professional practice): 522 – Law*
Doctor’s degrees (research/scholarship): 261
Master’s degrees: 1,276 – business/commerce, social work*
Other: 31
Total: 2,090

The University of Louisville had the second highest number of students complete graduate school program graduates in the 2010-11 academic year.

2. University of Louisville, Louisville
Doctor’s degrees (professional practice): 371 – Medicine*
Doctor’s degrees (research/scholarship): 163
Master’s degrees: 1,295 – social work; business/commerce*
Other: 175
Total: 2,004

3. Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green
Doctor’s degrees (professional practice): 5 – educational leadership and administration*
Master’s degrees: 906 – management information systems; business administration and management*
Other: 87
Total: 998

4. Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights
Doctor’s degrees (professional practice): 179 – law*
Master’s degrees: 485 – education*
Other: 87
Total: 751

5. Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond
Doctor’s degrees (professional practice): 4 – educational leadership and administration*
Master’s degrees: 692 – homeland security*
Other: 16
Total: 712

6. Murray State University, Murray
Master’s degrees: 641 – business/commerce*
Other: 6
Total: 647

7. University of the Cumberlands, Williamsburg
Doctor’s degrees (research/scholarship):19
Master’s degrees: 459 – reading and writing; elementary education and teaching*
Other: 2
Total: 480

8. Morehead State University, Morehead
Master’s degrees: 435 – elementary, middle, and secondary education administration/principalship*
Other: 2
Total: 437

9. Spalding University, Louisville
Doctor’s degrees (research/scholarship): 36
Master’s degrees: 247 – occupational therapy; criminal justice*
Total: 283

10. Bellarmine University, Louisville
Doctor’s degrees (professional practice – physical therapy): 46
Master’s degrees: 224 – business/commerce
Other: 4
Total: 274

11. Union College, Barbourville
Master’s degrees: 248 – educational administration/principalship*
Other: 11
Total: 259

12. Lindsey Wilson College, Columbia
Master’s degrees: 169 – counseling psychology*
Total: 169

13. Campbellsville University, Campbellsville
Master’s degrees: 165 – special education and teaching*
Total: 165

14. Georgetown College, Georgetown
Master’s degrees: 123 – special education and teaching*
Total: 123

15. Thomas More College, Crestview Hills
Master’s degrees: 75 – business administration and management*
Total: 75

* Most popular program

Source: Council on Postsecondary Education (

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Top Graduate School Programs For 2010-11
Ranked by number of graduates (not including for-profit institutions)


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