Office of Career Services

Post-Graduate Survey

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    A biochemistry graduate, Penny is a dental student at the UT Health Science Center, San Antonio, in San Antonio, TX.
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    A computer science graduate, Brittany is a business systems analyst at Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. in Washington, DC.
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    Ross, a physics and computational mathematics graduate, is pursuing a PhD in materials science and nanoengineering at Rice University in Houston, TX.
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    Lauren, a history graduate, is an English teaching assistant through the U.S. Student Fulbright Program in Bulgaria.

More Success Stories »

About the Survey

Each year Career Services surveys new graduates about their post-graduation pursuits to learn whether they have secured employment, have been admitted to graduate school, are volunteering or are in process of pursuing one of these goals.

Data collection begins in April prior to May Commencement and continues through the following February, usually resulting in a 95-99 percent response rate.  Surveys are emailed to graduating seniors in April, hard copies of surveys are collected at Commencement in May, follow-up emails are sent in October, Phonathon calling takes place in November, December and February and continued phone calls and emails round out the data collection in early March.

The resultant aggregated data includes information about percentage working or going to school, locations, a sampling of employers and graduate programs, salaries, and internship information.  For questions or more detailed information please contact

Downloadable archived data is available from the links below, followed by highlights for the most recent class. For each class from 2000 through 2007 the class comprises graduates from August, December and May.  For 2008 the class comprises graduates from August 2007, December 2007, May 2008 and August 2008.  From 2009 forward the class includes December, May and August graduates.

Where are they now?: 10 years after Southwestern

For decades Career Services has been collecting traditional first-destination data through annual surveys of new graduates within the first year after graduation. Relationships with our alumni and a growing “gap year” trend nationally, however, led us to believe that a one-year time horizon does not adequately tell the career story of liberal arts graduates. Taking a longer-term view better illustrates the impact of liberal arts education on graduates’ career development. In 2013, Career Services conducted a first-ever 10-year-out survey of the Class of 2003 to gather data to support our anecdotal evidence.  See what we found out.

To take the Survey

The Class of 2016 (December 2015, May 2016, August 2016) survey takes place from April 2016 to March 2017.  Click here to take the survey. For questions or problems, email or call 512.863.1346.

Where is the Class of 2015 now?

The Class of 2015 comprises 295 graduates from December 2014, May 2015 and August 2015. Career Services obtained information on 291 (99 percent of the class). 

66.3 %    Employed
25.1 %    Graduate / professional school or advanced coursework
8.6 %      Other (seeking, volunteering, etc.)

The 49 graduates who earned two or more majors were tallied in each major for a look at responses by major and corresponding school/division.  Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding:

Brown College of Arts and Sciences        

Division of Humanities        
73.0 %     Employed
20.2 %     Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework
6.7 %       Other
Division of Natural Sciences    
56.0 %     Employed
38.7 %     Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework
5.3 %       Other
Division of Social Sciences    

72.1 %     Employed
18.9 %     Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework        
9.0 %       Other 

Sarofim School of Fine Arts              

61.3 %     Employed
29.0 %     Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework        
9.7 %       Other

Independent / Interdisciplinary majors            

63.6 %     Employed
22.7 %     Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework        
13.6 %     Other


what type of employment is it?

0.7 %       Military service
2.1 %       Freelancer/Entrepreneur
4.2 %       Post-graduate internship or fellowship
4.9 %       Temporary/contract work assignment
6.9 %       Volunteer service (e.g. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, Teach for America, missionary work)    
81.3 %      All other employment

How did they locate positions?

For employed graduates who reported the method by which they secured positions:

24.2 %   Other networking (e.g. family, friends)
23.6 %   Directly contacted organizations
23.0 %   Internet
13.3 %   Career-related experience/internship
4.8 %     Career Services
3.6 %     Alumnus/a
3.6 %     Other (e.g. self-employed, family business)
3.0 %     SU professor
0.6 %     Career fair

Where are they working?

80 %    Texas
18 %    19 other states, including:
             2.6 %   California
             2.1 %   Washington, DC
2 %       Internationally (Bulgaria, England, France and Guatemala)

When did they begin their search?

Graduates employed or seeking employment who responded about their job search process reported beginning:

20 %    Before senior year
24 %    Fall semester of senior year
23 %    Beginning of spring of senior year
14 %    End of spring of senior year
19 %    After graduation

What do they earn?

Respondents working full-time who reported annual salaries earn:

37 %    less than $30,000
45 %    $30,000 to $50,000
18 %    more than $50,000

Since a liberal arts education prepares students broadly for many kinds of work, majors do not typically correlate directly with specific job titles.  Instead, employed graduates evaluated their satisfaction with their outcomes, and how well their outcomes match their expectations and meet their interests.  Those who reported on these questions stated:

Is the work in their field of interest?

48 %    Completely
44 %    Somewhat
9 %      Not at all

How satisfied are they with their outcome?

41 %    Very happy
35 %    Satisfied
21 %    Slightly unsatisfied
4 %      Completely unsatisfied

How well does their outcome match their expectations?

35 %    Meets expectations
36 %    Close to meeting expectations
20 %    Does not match but is happy
9 %      Does not match and is unhappy

Selected organizations and positions

Accenture, Technology Analyst
Applied Materials, Inc., Purchasing Analyst
Aristotle Inc., Developer
AXA Advisors, Financial Advisor
Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., Business Systems Analyst
Brown, Graham & Company, P.C., Staff Accountant
Charles Schwab Corporation, Stock Broker
CHASCO Family YMCA, Site Coordinator
Chester Zoo, Reptile and Invertebrates Intern
City Year (an AmeriCorps program), Mentor
Cricket Farms with Aspire Food Groups, Assistant Manager
Dell, Inc., Sales Support Senior Analyst
Denver Math Fellows (via AmeriCorps), Math Fellow
Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTTC), Risk Analyst
Fountainhead Press Inc., Sales Representative
Houston ISD, Kindergarten Teacher
Houston Rockets, Marketing Associate
Human Behaviors, LLC, ABA Therapist
Indicative, Software Engineer
Iniosante Studios, LLC, Video Production Editor
kidsActing Studio, Musical Director
Leander ISD, 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher
Lifeworks (via AmeriCorps), Workforce Development VISTA
Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Latin America and Caribbean Program Assistant
Main Street Hub, Community Manager
Mary Crowley Cancer Research Centers, Data Coordinator
Omnitracs, LLC, Associate Software Engineer
PhysAssist Scribes, Inc., Medical Scribe
Planned Parenthood of Greater Austin, Health Center Assistant
PMB Helin Donovan, LLC, Staff Auditor
SHI International, Inside Account Executive
Southwestern University, Financial Aid Counselor
Spiceworks Inc., Test Automation Engineer
State Representative Four Price (TX), Legislative Assistant
Teach for America, Secondary Social Studies Teacher
Texas Physical Therapy Specialists, PT Technician
The Daily Dot (Daily Dot, LLC), Marketing Associate
The Fund for American Studies, Program Advisor
The Walt Disney Company, Cast Member
Tree Folks, Program Assistant
Union Pacific Railroad, Associate Application Developer
University of Houston, Post-Baccalaureate Research Assistant
Uplift Education: Uplift Heights Preparatory, Second Grade Teacher
US Navy, Ensign
US Student Fulbright Program, English Teaching Assistant
VRL Laboratories - Southwest, Infectious Disease Technologist
Waco ISD, Special Education/Inclusion Teacher
Willis Towers Watson, Retirement Service Center Associate
World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, Membership & Development Associate
Zurich Insurance Group, Ltd., Underwriter Trainee

Graduate / Professional School and Advanced Coursework

What kind of programs are they pursuing?

About a quarter of the Class of 2015 continued their education directly after Southwestern.  Of those continuing their studies, they did so in the following ways:
62 %    Graduate school (e.g. Master of Arts, PhD, etc.)
15 %    Advanced coursework (e.g. teacher or EMT certification, grad school pre-requisites, second Bachelor’s)
11 %    Law School
7 %      Medical School (MD, DO)
5 %      Other professional school (e.g. DDS, OD, DVM, etc.)

Where are they studying?

63 %    Texas
35 %    16 other U.S. states

Two graduates studied internationally in Taiwan and Spain.

Selected institutions and programs of study

American University, MS in International Affairs
Baylor School of Law, JD
DePaul University College of Law, JD
Indiana University, MM in Opera Studies
National Cheng Kung University, MS in Natural Disaster Mitigation and Management
Portland State University, PhD in Applied Psychology (Community Psychology)
Rice University, PhD in Materials Science & Nanoengineering
Seattle Film Institute, MM in Film Composition
Seminary of the Southwest, MA in Religion
Smith College, MSW
South College, DPT
St. Edward’s University, MA in Counseling
Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, DVM
University of Houston, Master of Architecture
University of Maryland, PhD in Bioengineering
University of North Carolina, PhD in French
University of North Texas Health Science Center, Master of Physician Assistant Studies
University of North Texas, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, DO
University of Oklahoma, PhD in Political Science
University of Pennsylvania, PhD in Cell Biology, Physiology, and Metabolism
University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, MPH
University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, DDS
University of Texas Medical Branch, MD
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, PhD in Biochemistry
University of Washington, PhD in Pharmaceutics
Washington University School of Medicine, MD/PhD


Total internships

Sixty-two percent of the Class of 2015 (66 percent of respondents to the survey’s internship questions) reported completing at least one internship experience. Thirty-five percent of the class (nearly 38 percent of respondents to the survey’s internship questions) reported having two or more internships. Those respondents reported on their internship experiences:

0.4 %         7
1.1 %         6
0.7 %         5
3.2 %         4
10.1 %       3
22.0 %       2
28.5 %       1
33.9 %       0

Number of internship for academic credit

(for those reporting about academic internships)

6.7 %       3 or more internships
24.0 %     2 internships
69.2 %     1 internship

Number of internships for experience only

(for those reporting about experience-only internships):

12.3 %     3 or more internships
36.0 %     2 internships
51.8 %     1 internship

Pay for internships

34 %        Paid
41 %        Unpaid
25 %        Both (for graduates with more than one experience: some paid, some unpaid)

Helpfulness of internships

66 %      Very helpful
27 %      Somewhat helpful
6 %        Not helpful


In addition to evaluating satisfaction with first-destination outcomes and the match between those outcomes and their expectations, graduates also reported on their satisfaction with Career Services interactions as well as overall satisfaction with their Southwestern University education.

Satisfaction with Career Services

Graduates reported their responses to the question, “How satisfied are you with Career Services regarding guidance provided for securing your job/grad school acceptance?”  Interactions with Career Services can include individual advising appointments, participation in group workshops/events, utilizing the resource library, etc.  More detailed evaluations of each of these components are available through Career Services. Of students who reported using Career Services, respondents were:

41 %    Very happy
42%     Satisfied
12 %    Slightly unsatisfied
5 %      Completely unsatisfied

Satisfaction with Southwestern

Graduates reported their responses to the question, “Based on your SU experience, how satisfied are you with your preparation for your [intended] job/graduate school program?” Of students who answered this question, respondents were:

49 %     Very happy
40 %     Satisfied
10 %     Slightly unsatisfied
1 %       Completely unsatisfied