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EDF 6407 Group Project
Motivation to Pursue Graduate Studies
To investigate the motivation behind decisions to pursue
advanced degrees at the University of South Florida.
Students enrolled in EDF 6407 Statistical Analysis for
Educational Research I, attending class on Tuesday
evenings at the Tampa campus during the Fall 2013
The researchers wished to examine to following four variables:
1) on average how much time it takes students to pursue graduate studies after
obtaining their bachelor degrees, which will be referred to as ‘interval’ in this
2) the relationship between interval and gender,
3) the relationship between interval and age, and
4) what motivates students to make the decision to pursue a graduate program.
1) On average, how much time does it take people to pursue a graduate
program after their bachelor’s degrees (the interval)?
2) Is there a relationship between the interval and gender?
3) Is there a relationship between the interval and age?
4) What motivates students to pursue a graduate program?
The data of the first three questions were coded as numeric values. For question one, male
students were coded as 0, female students were coded as 1. Answers for question four were
categorized; each category was assigned a number, starting from 1. If students chose ‘other’
and specifically wrote down other options, the options were added as new categories.
The Mean of the Interval
It takes individuals 7.63 years to start their current graduate programs after getting
bachelor’s degrees. For some participants, the current graduate programs are their first
graduate programs; and for others, they have attended other graduate programs before
attending the one currently pursuing.
The Relationship between Interval and Gender
It was found that the Pearson Product-moment Correlation Coefficient between gender
and interval was 0.33.
Strength of Association
.1 to .3
-0.1 to -0.3
.3 to .5
-0.3 to -0.5
.5 to 1.0
-0.5 to -1.0
The Relationship between Interval and Age
It was found that the Pearson Correlation Coefficient between age
and interval was 0.85.
Motivation to Join Graduate Programs
It was found that 13 individuals (54.17%) chose to attend a graduate program because
of personal goal, 3 individuals (12.50%) for the purpose of salary increase, 6
individuals (25.00%) for the purpose of career change, and 2 individuals (8.33%) for
the reason of current economy.
● It took participants 7.63 years to start their current graduate programs,
after getting bachelor’s degrees.
● The relationship between Interval and Gender had a medium strength (.33)
● The relationship between Interval and Age had a large strength (.85)
● The majority of participants (54.17%) were motivated to pursue their
graduate program as a personal goal.
1. Small sample size
2. Brevity of questionnaire
Didn’t ask to specify masters or doctoral program
Didn’t ask to specify if degree or non-degree seeking
Didn’t ask if hold other advanced degrees (i.e. multiple masters degrees)
Didn’t ask for relationship status
Didn’t ask for number of children in the home
Didn’t ask for employment status
3. All programs housed in college of education, so lack of diversity among
programs (may impact motivation)
Implications & Future Studies
● If the study were conducted in other colleges and departments, this could
yield different results for motivation.
● This information could be useful when designing a graduate program
● This data could be helpful when recruiting for a program