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Digest of Education Statistics: 2014
Digest of Education Statistics: 2014

NCES 2016-006
April 2016


Table 311.32. Number and percentage of graduate students taking distance education or online classes and degree programs, by selected characteristics: Selected years, 2003-04 through 2011-12
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Selected characteristic Percent of graduate students taking distance education classes 2011-12
2003-04 2007-08 Number of graduate students (in thousands) Percent of graduate students taking online classes
Total, any distance education classes Entire degree program through distance education1 Total, any distance education classes Entire degree program through distance education1 Total, all graduate students Number taking any online classes Total, any online classes Exclusively online classes Entire degree program is online1
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Total 16.5   (0.76) 6.1   (0.58) 22.8   (0.76) 9.5   (0.68) 3,682 1,326 36.0 (0.74) 20.1   (0.64) 18.2   (0.63)
Sex                                            
Male 15.4   (1.17) 4.9   (0.74) 20.6   (1.17) 7.8   (1.07) 1,463 461 31.5 (1.17) 17.8   (1.03) 15.9   (1.06)
Female 17.3   (1.00) 7.0   (0.74) 24.2   (0.99) 10.6   (0.77) 2,219 865 39.0 (0.97) 21.7   (0.84) 19.8   (0.78)
                                             
Race/ethnicity                                            
White 17.7   (0.88) 6.7   (0.74) 23.6   (0.99) 9.6   (0.95) 2,341 864 36.9 (0.98) 20.2   (0.92) 18.2   (0.88)
Black 19.2   (2.44) 7.5   (1.72) 25.8   (2.94) 11.5   (2.11) 434 212 48.8 (2.12) 33.0   (1.75) 31.4   (1.66)
Hispanic 13.1   (1.81) 5.0   (1.26) 23.7   (3.09) 9.4 ! (2.85) 321 111 34.6 (2.73) 19.3   (2.51) 17.9   (2.53)
Asian 9.4   (1.40) 3.0 ! (1.01) 12.8   (1.10) 4.5   (0.68) 474 92 19.4 (1.67) 7.5   (1.28) 6.0   (1.13)
Pacific Islander   (†)   (†) 31.1 ! (9.43) 13.5 ! (6.20) 20 9 44.2 (11.10) 20.3 ! (9.95)   (†)
American Indian/Alaska Native 8.7 ! (3.54)   (†) 16.7 ! (6.78)   (†) 16 55.1 (12.39) 42.5 ! (15.09) 43.4 ! (15.26)
Two or more races 17.1   (4.46) 4.8 ! (2.33) 27.7 ! (8.38) 21.3 ! (9.56) 75 30 40.4 (4.24) 20.9   (3.82) 18.4   (3.84)
                                             
Age                                            
15 through 23 11.1   (1.73) 3.7   (0.77) 16.6   (2.64) 1.6   (0.40) 419 82 19.5 (1.45) 4.5   (0.74) 4.3   (0.76)
24 through 29 13.6   (0.82) 3.6   (0.43) 16.1   (0.79) 5.7   (0.54) 1,483 456 30.8 (1.05) 15.8   (0.95) 14.4   (0.91)
30 or older 20.2   (1.21) 9.0   (1.06) 29.5   (1.39) 14.5   (1.31) 1,781 788 44.3 (1.21) 27.4   (1.07) 24.9   (1.01)
                                             
Attendance status                                            
Exclusively full-time 12.0   (1.00) 3.4   (0.72) 16.4   (1.35) 6.5   (1.24) 1,713 543 31.7 (1.16) 18.4   (1.04) 17.4   (0.98)
Exclusively part-time 20.0   (1.01) 8.8   (0.97) 28.1   (1.17) 13.3   (1.07) 1,396 572 41.0 (1.21) 22.7   (1.19) 19.5   (1.21)
Mixed full-time and part-time 15.6   (1.89) 4.1   (0.71) 23.6   (2.15) 6.8   (0.95) 573 212 36.9 (1.98) 19.1   (1.69) 17.9   (1.66)
                                             
Graduate field of study                                            
Business/management 22.6   (2.30) 10.3   (1.98) 27.6   (2.90) 13.9   (2.68) 615 246 40.0 (2.09) 26.8   (2.00) 25.1   (1.82)
Education 20.7   (1.74) 8.2   (1.29) 28.3   (1.67) 9.9   (1.36) 775 379 48.9 (1.65) 26.1   (1.56) 23.7   (1.47)
Health 12.6   (1.23) 3.9   (0.79) 22.0   (1.59) 8.9   (1.33) 679 248 36.5 (1.42) 18.9   (1.04) 16.5   (1.00)
Humanities 12.9   (2.43) 2.9 ! (0.87) 15.7   (1.72) 3.1   (0.65) 290 81 28.1 (3.13) 14.1   (2.87) 12.1   (2.88)
Law 5.6   (1.15)   (†) 6.1   (0.87) 1.7 ! (0.54) 146 15 10.3 (1.46) 2.9   (0.72) 2.5   (0.65)
Life and physical sciences   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†) 208 29 13.9 (1.49) 7.3   (1.36) 5.3   (1.21)
Life sciences 12.4   (2.51) 6.9 ! (2.14) 14.0   (2.15) 4.3   (1.14) (†)   (†)   (†)
Mathematics, engineering,
      and computer science
12.0   (2.03) 4.6 ! (1.48) 19.7   (3.06) 9.4 ! (2.96) 315 80 25.5 (1.78) 14.6   (1.44) 13.3   (1.42)
Social/behavioral sciences 8.5   (1.42) 3.4 ! (1.11) 21.3   (3.66) 12.7   (3.68) 223 82 36.6 (2.22) 22.6   (1.84) 21.7   (1.89)
Other2  19.0   (1.56) 4.6   (1.08) 22.2   (1.49) 9.4   (1.49) 430 166 38.6 (2.03) 20.5   (2.19) 19.2   (2.29)
                                             
Had job during academic year3                                            
  Yes 19.6   (0.97) 7.7   (0.78) 27.2   (0.89) 11.9   (0.79) 2,494 1,090 43.7 (0.91) 26.3   (0.79) 24.1   (0.79)
  No 9.0   (0.81) 2.7   (0.41) 10.0   (1.36) 2.8 ! (1.27) 1,188 236 19.9 (1.12) 7.2   (0.82) 6.2   (0.78)
                                             
Dependency status                                            
Dependent   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†) (†)   (†)   (†)
Independent, no dependents,
      not married4
12.1   (0.75) 3.7   (0.39) 16.6   (0.90) 5.2   (0.59) 1,848 520 28.1 (0.88) 13.2   (0.74) 11.8   (0.67)
Independent, no dependents, married 15.5   (1.22) 5.0   (0.77) 22.3   (1.67) 10.1   (1.56) 551 199 36.1 (1.75) 21.0   (1.63) 19.5   (1.64)
Independent, with dependents,
      not married4
21.3   (3.18) 9.4   (2.21) 26.8   (3.23) 10.8   (1.86) 359 187 52.0 (2.49) 33.4   (2.48) 32.5   (2.54)
Independent, with dependents, married 24.2   (1.72) 10.8   (1.46) 34.2   (1.76) 17.5   (2.14) 923 421 45.6 (1.60) 28.3   (1.55) 25.1   (1.52)
                                             
Control of institution                                            
Public 15.2   (0.68) 4.8   (0.39) 23.1   (0.99) 8.9   (0.95) 1,745 573 32.8 (0.93) 14.1   (0.72) 11.8   (0.69)
Private nonprofit 16.3   (1.25) 6.7   (1.03) 18.5   (0.74) 6.0   (0.41) 1,496 426 28.5 (1.16) 13.8   (1.08) 12.3   (1.03)
Private for-profit 35.3   (8.12) 18.6 ! (6.64) 41.6   (5.47) 29.9   (5.89) 440 327 74.1 (2.09) 65.3   (2.58) 62.5   (2.49)
—Not available.
†Not applicable.
!Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
‡Reporting standards not met. Either there are too few cases for a reliable estimate or the coefficient of variation (CV) is 50 percent or greater.
1 Excludes students not in a degree or certificate program.
2 Includes students who are not in a degree program or have not declared a major. For 2003-04 and 2007-08, includes physical sciences.
3 Excludes work-study/assistantships.
4 Includes separated.
NOTE: In 2011-12, students were asked whether they took classes that were "taught only online" and, if so, whether their entire degree program was online. In 2003-04 and 2007-08, students were asked about distance education, which was defined in 2007-08 as "primarily delivered using live, interactive audio or videoconferencing, pre-recorded instructional videos, webcasts, CD-ROM, or DVD, or computer-based systems delivered over the Internet." The 2003-04 definition was very similar, with only minor differences in wording. In both years, distance education did not include correspondence courses. Data exclude Puerto Rico. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2003-04, 2007-08, and 2011-12 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:04, NPSAS:08, and NPSAS:12). (This table was prepared October 2014.)