Date of Award

Spring 1987

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


This study investigates the post-graduate educational and occupational experiences of the 1968 and 1978 graduates of a state flagship university. First, it explores the influence of parental variables upon respondents' choice of curriculum and of post-graduate study. Second, it examines the occupational placement of the respondents by cohort and by gender. Third, it explores the present attitudes of the respondents by cohort and gender.

A stratified random sampling of the graduates (N = 433) via a mailed survey questionnaire shows that more men than women in the 1968 cohort return their forms. There is the suspicion that only those who view their occupational performance as successful returned their questionnaires. Therefore, many of the findings of this study must be placed in the context of this particular sample.

The main results of this study suggest that the respondents' gender and the educational resources of the respondents' family of orientation are related to the selection of undergraduate curriculum such that males and students from less educationally-privileged families tend to major in more quantitative or technical disciplines. Second, I find that going on to professional school is a function of father's occupational position. Third, there are differences in the occupational attainment process for male and female respondents in the sense that different explanatory factors are involved. Fourth, there are few differences in occupational and political attitudes of the respondents by cohort or gender.