Educational Effectiveness

Monitoring success of current students in achieving program and institutional goals.

Monitoring Success of Graduates
What DSPT Alumni are Doing 

Students in all DSPT programs are monitored in an ongoing manner for satisfactory completion of program goals and outcomes through a student portfolio system (described in the Student Handbook pdf). In addition to grade reporting, student success is measured through key performance indicators related to both institutional and program goals, and reported as a weighted average. Using a scale of 1.0 (does not meet scholarly standards) to 3.0 (meets scholarly standards with excellence), Faculty have ranked current students as follows:

In the MA (Philosophy) program, faculty rankings of students range from 2.18 ("skills for advanced academic writing and publication") to 2.64 ("ability to produce a thesis proposal which articulates and effectively communicates clear goals & outcomes ").

In the MA (Theology) program, faculty rankings of students range from 2.08 ("the ability to integrate contemporary theological issues with the tradition of the Church, especially the theological tradition of Thomas Aquinas") to 2.50 ("a basic knowledge of the thought of a religious tradition other than Christianity").

Rankings for students in the MDiv program are not yet available due to the fact of current program review.

Students are able to offer self-reporting through the ATS Graduating Student Questionnaire (GSQ). In the most recent GSQ (S2012) survey, 87.5% of graduates reported that their program helped them develop skills for deep learning (DSPT Institutional Goal No. 1), and 38% reported that they felt equipped to be an effective leader in the contemporary Church or society (DSPT Institutional Goal No. 2). When asked about specific skills for effective leadership, 67% or more of students consistently ranked their program as helpful in achieving these benchmark indicators.

Monitoring Success of Graduates

Retention and completion rates for the last five years are calculated at either 150% or 200% of the standard time in the degree program (standard program time).  The minimum standard program time, calculated according to a full-time courseload of 12 units/semester, is:  MA (Philosophy), MA (Theology), and Master of Theological Studies  = 4 semesters; Concurrent MA Program = 6 semesters; and Concurrent MA/MDiv program = 8 semesters.  Rates for the Master of Divinity vary according to the type of student. For lay MDiv students = 7 semesters; for clerical candidates = 8 semesters (includes "Complementary Curriculum," CC); and for clerical candidates of the Western Dominican Province (WDP) = 10 semesters (includes CC plus two semesters of required pastoral ministry internship).

Retention Rate:  The range of retention rates for all DSPT programs is between 84%-86%.

Completion Rate:  The completion rate is calculated as the percent of students in a degree program who complete that degree program by either 150% or 200% of the standard program time. The following are the completion rates for the 5-year period from  start dates Fall 2007 through Fall 2011:


Completion Rate at 150%

Completion Rate at 200%

MA (Philosophy)  



MA (Theology)



Master of Divinity (lay and non-Dominican)



Master of Divinity (Dominican)



Given that there have been no graduates in the past five years from either the concurrent program or the MTS program, completion rates are currently not available.

ATS Completion Rate:  For comparison purposes, completion rates submitted to the Association of Theological Schools are also provided. These rates are calculated as the percent of graduates who have completed the program within a given number of years.

Graduation Rate
 ATS Completions 2013
ATS Completions 2012
MDiv % all graduates All DSPT MA Programs % all graduates MDiv % all graduates All DSPT MA Programs % all graduates
<2 years
0%  2 17%
0% 1 17%
2 to <3 years
0% 1  8%
0% 1 17%
3 to <4 years
 8%  1  8%
4 to <5years 1  8%  3  25%
0% 1 17%
5 to <6 years  0  0% 0 0% 2 33%
6+ years  3  25%  0  0%
0% 1 17%
TOTAL  5  42%  7  58% 2 33% 4  67%

What DSPT Alumni are Doing

Of those who graduated with a Master of Divinity degree, 87.5% are currently employed, and the remaining 12.5% are in doctoral programs. Employment areas include parish ministry, campus ministry, and diocesan ministry.

Of those who graduated since Spring 2005, 17 (15% of all graduates) are enrolled in doctoral programs, with a 94% acceptance rate for those who applied to a doctoral program.

Of those non-MDiv students who graduated since Spring 2009, an average of 59% were offered employment by the time of graduation (as reported in the ATS GSQ).

Areas of work for DSPT alumni include the following (percentages are approximates based on a recent survey of alumni): secondary (10%) and higher education (8%); education administration (8%); parochial or diocesan ministry (33%); allied health professions (3%); and executive administration (8%).