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UT News

UT Austin Selected for AAU Ph.D. Education Initiative

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Tower and students between classes on the East Mall

AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas at Austin has been selected by the Association of American Universities (AAU) as a pilot participant in Phase I of the AAU Ph.D. Education Initiative, which aims to change the culture surrounding doctoral education at its member institutions.

The AAU Ph.D. Initiative’s mission is to promote more student-centered doctoral education at AAU universities by making diverse Ph.D. career pathways visible, valued and viable. During Phase I of the initiative, the university will implement reforms within the departments of American Studies, History, Chemistry and Neuroscience.

These reforms will address the culture, behavior, policies and practices necessary to construct student-centered educational environments and successfully prepare doctoral candidates for careers both within and beyond the academy.

“We are thrilled to be selected by the AAU to participate in this important initiative and be at the forefront of new approaches to doctoral education,” said Mark J.T. Smith, dean of the Graduate School at UT Austin. “Ensuring that our graduate programs provide students with diverse career opportunities is of vital importance, and this partnership will help to build the strategies to support this at UT Austin. The Ph.D. Initiative will build upon the work of the Graduate Education Task Force currently underway and upon career diversity programs already implemented by the departments of History and Neuroscience.”

UT Austin will serve as one of eight pilot campuses along with Boston University, Duke University, Indiana University Bloomington, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, The University of Iowa, University of Missouri and University of Virginia.

The AAU is composed of America’s leading research universities. AAU member universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for research that improves public health, seeks to address national challenges, and contributes significantly to our economic strength, while educating and training tomorrow’s leaders and innovators.

AAU member universities collectively help shape policy for higher education, science and innovation, promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education, and strengthen the contributions of leading research universities to American society.