Doctoral Degree Recipient Debt, Percentage Borrowing and Average Borrowed, 2011-12

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About three-quarters of students who earned professional practice doctoral degrees in law, medicine, or other health sciences in 2011-12 borrowed $60,000 or more for their graduate education. This level of debt was much less common for other graduate students.

Figure 2014_17A: Doctoral Degree Recipient Debt, Percentage Borrowing, and Average Borrowed, 2011-12

Figure 17A represents Doctoral Degree Recipient Debt, Percentage Borrowing, and Average Borrowed, 2011-12.  For a corresponding Section 508-compliant data table, see http://trends.collegeboard.org/student-aid.

Notes & Sources 

NOTE: Includes all loans ever borrowed for both graduate and undergraduate education for 2011-12 and prior years. “Other Doctoral Degrees” are primarily in health fields, psychology, and business.

SOURCE: NCES, National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, 2012.

  • Among Ph.D. recipients, 39% of those in education and 20% of those in other fields borrowed as much as $60,000.
  • Average debt per doctoral graduate ranged from $28,200 for noneducation Ph.D. recipients to $137,500 for M.D. recipients.