University has high undergrad return rate for grad school

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    Josh Noble spent one year working for SurfRay, a partner of Microsoft, before he realized he would need a graduate degree in order to further his management skills.

    Noble, a 2008 university graduate with a degree in biology, said he will return to the university to begin the Evening Professional Master in Business Administration program in fall 2010.

    Noble returned to the university’s graduate program because of the proximity to home, the team-focused environment and the quality of the programs available.

    “By the time that I graduate I’ll be at a point in management within my position that without an extended education I’ll be unable to excel much further into broader management roles,” Noble said.

    Although he looked at other universities, he chose to stay so he could continue working at his current job, he said. The school’s reputation will also satisfy his expectations of attending a respected program.

    Of the nine colleges that offer graduate degrees, each has a different number of university alumni enrolled and a different application process for admission.

    Magnus Rittby, associate dean of the College of Science and Engineering, wrote in an e-mail that 13 out of the 22 TCU undergraduates that applied to graduate programs in his college were accepted last year.

    Those students do not receive preference in the application process, he wrote, but “may already have proven themselves to the faculty of the department by being active in undergraduate research, etcetera, which could give them an edge in the evaluation process within the department.”

    Bill Cron, associate dean of graduate programs and professor of marketing, said that some programs in his school, like the Master of Accounting, are made up primarily of TCU graduates, but others, like the full-time MBA program have only about 3 to 4 percent of university alumni.

    The low percentage of TCU graduates in the MBA programs is generally attributed to the fact that MBA students are discouraged from continuing at the same university, Cron said. Instead, they are encouraged to broaden their network to include other institutions with different reputations, areas of strength and relationships to nearby businesses and alumni.

    The MBA programs’ numbers differed from programs like accounting because many of those students have internships in the area where they will take a job after receiving their master’s, he said.

    Tuesdi Crist, a senior accounting major, will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She wrote in an e-mail that she plans to begin the Master of Accounting degree in the fall.

    “With my graduate degree only taking a year, TCU really encouraged us to stay,” Crist wrote.

    She also attributed her decision to the help she received from faculty and administration during her years as an undergraduate, she wrote, adding that she could not see herself going anywhere else.

    Lisa Albert, director of communications for the university and a 2001 graduate with a degree in advertising/public relations, said that while students have to make the choice that is best for them, staying at TCU for her graduate degree made the most sense and has been very beneficial to her.

    After completing her undergraduate degree at TCU and working for several years, Albert and her husband decided to open their own businesses, she wrote in an e-mail. She hadn’t thought much about a graduate degree because it was not necessary.

    After closing their businesses and returning to work, she took a job at the university and soon after decided to enroll in the advertising and public relations graduate program.

    Albert received her master’s in 2008 and continues to work for the university.


    Neeley School of Business

    Full-time MBA program: 3 to 4 percent were TCU undergrads

    Masters in Accounting program: Almost all of the program’s students were TCU undergraduates who are taking an additional

    30 hours to get their
    masters in accounting.

    AddRan College of Liberal Arts

    About 10 TCU graduates apply each year

    College of Science and Engineering

    Accepted 13 of 22 TCU students that applied last year

    College of Fine Arts

    About 11 percent of admitted students were TCU undergrads

    Harris College Graduate Studies

    10 to 20 percent of the students who were admitted last year were TCU undergrads