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Los Angeles: Graduate Division


In the quarter-century since the award of its first Ph.D. degree, the advances in graduate training and research at Los Angeles transformed a relatively unknown branch of the University into its second major campus. With a rich academic heritage from Berkeley, an eminent faculty, and the educational and cultural demands of a burgeoning population in southern California, the essential elements for notable achievement were present at Los Angeles from the beginning.

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The Growth of Graduate Study at UCLA
Graduate study at Los Angeles was first authorized in 1933, for the master of arts degree. The total student population was then 6,060. Initial graduate enrollment amounted to approximately 125 students. Programs for the M.A. degree were offered in 16 fields and 42 degrees were awarded at the end of the first year.

Three years later, in 1936, granting of the Ph.D. degree was authorized, with doctoral programs approved in three departments. The first Ph.D. degree was awarded in 1938, to Kenneth P. Bailey in the Department of History. By this time, the Los Angeles campus total student population was 7,911, seven departments had Ph.D. programs, and graduate enrollment had increased to 538. Twenty years later, in 1958, the total student population amounted to 16,488 and graduate enrollment numbered 4,310. That year, 686 master's degrees and 135 doctoral degrees were awarded.

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Graduate Division Deans
A Graduate Division was officially established in 1934, with Vern O. Knudsen of the Department of Physics as its first dean. His leadership from 1934 to 1958 was a major influence in the formation and development of graduate study and research on the Los Angeles campus. Dean Knudsen subsequently served the Los Angeles campus as vice-chancellor (1956-1959) and as chancellor until his retirement in 1960.

In 1958, Dean Gustave O. Arlt, professor of German, succeeded Dean Knudsen, after serving in graduate affairs at Los Angeles continuously for over 30 years. His dedication and wisdom were similarly significant influences in the growth and maturation of graduate education on the Los Angeles campus. Since his retirement in 1962, Dean Emeritus Arlt continued to serve higher education as a major founding figure and first president of the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States.

Dean Horace W. Magoun, professor of anatomy, succeeded Dean Arlt in 1962, on the threshold of another period of unprecedented expansion and development in graduate education on the campus. As of fall, 1965, the total student population at the Los Angeles campus was 25,676, of whom 700 were graduate students. In 1964-65, 1,435 master's and 306 doctoral degrees were awarded. The southern "twig" of the University of California, as it was described 30 years ago, is rapidly approaching its projected role in the state's Master Plan of Higher Education of 27,500 students, with 12,500 (45 per cent) of them in graduate and professional fields.

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The 1960s
With the rapid growth in numbers of graduate students, the recruitment of outstandingly talented applicants and the maintenance of quality in the programs for graduate study at Los Angeles became major concerns. With the rapid proportional expansion of research, funded chiefly by federal agencies, further concern was related to the balance of resources by fields, of which the natural sciences and their professions were the most favored, and the degree that postdoctoral research training was increasingly becoming a terminal stage of higher education in these areas.

With this growth of research, departmental activities were supplemented by the development of organized research units, around which interdisciplinary program of graduate education increasingly began to flow. Further, since more than two thirds of the Los Angeles campus' doctoral graduates pursued subsequent academic careers, concern was related to preservation of a balance of emphasis in graduate education at Los Angeles as a preparation for career obligations both in research and in undergraduate teaching.

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