Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University


Longitudinal Study of Student & Alumni Satisfaction: A Brief Overview

The Longitudinal Study was established in 1989 to collect and analyze a wide range of information about Jefferson students and graduates. Its establishment was in response to a national assessment that identified the importance of developing a strong research base in the nursing and allied health professions. Data are gathered from the time individuals apply to Jefferson until 10 years after graduation. The study is modeled, in part, on the highly regarded Longitudinal Study of Medical Students which is conducted by the Center for Research in Medical Education and Health Care, Sidney Kimmel Medical College. With the reorganization of the University in 2009, the Longitudinal Study incorporates information for the College of Population Health and with assessing the satisfaction of the entire student body with the services provided by the University.

The Longitudinal Study, which falls under the auspices of the University Office of Institutional Research, is designed to serve two major purposes. First, as a form of institutional research, its findings contribute to the ongoing evaluation and improvement of existing academic and student services in many of the Colleges and departments in the University. For example, study findings are used in efforts to enhance the Office of Marketing and Public Relations and the Career Development Center. The academic departments in the Colleges of Biomedical Sciences, Health Professions, Nursing, Pharmacy and Population Health use the results in self-evaluation activities, including accreditation reports (e.g., Middle States, National League for Nursing).

Second, the data represent a resource for investigating broader research questions in allied health, nursing, pharmacy and population health education, especially those related to outcomes such as academic success, career patterns and satisfaction.

Specifically, the Longitudinal Study collects demographic, academic, attitudinal and career-related information about students and alumni, currently in many professional fields of study at the University (biomedical sciences, medical and laboratory sciences, couple and family therapy, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, public health, radiologic sciences and other programs in the College of Population Health).

During each academic year, the following surveys are conducted:

  • New Student Survey: at orientation
  • Matriculant Survey: after completion of 1st semester
  • Campus Life Survey
  • Exit Survey: upon graduation
  • Employment Survey: upon graduation
  • Recent Graduate Survey: 1 year post graduation
  • Alumni Survey: 5 years post graduation
  • Alumni Survey: 10 years post graduation
  • Employer Survey: 1.5-2 years after-graduation

Periodically, additional surveys are conducted around pertinent research or educational questions.

For more information about the study, please email us at