Happy 50th Birthday to us! You heard me right! UMKC is celebrating 50 years of providing graduate education. On May 5, 1964, UMKC authorized the establishment of graduate studies. Look how far we have come in the years since then. Today we have an enrollment of more than 3,600 graduate students, with almost 800 doctoral students exclusive of the professional doctorates. We are indeed a comprehensive research university.
We offer scores of Masters degrees, including the traditional Master of Arts and Master of Science in many subject areas. Additionally, we offer premium professional Masters degrees, such as the Master of Business Administration, Master of Public Administration, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Medical Science, and others. Added to this rich portfolio are graduate doctoral programs: Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Education, Doctor of Musical Arts, and Doctor of Nursing Practice. The Education Specialist is available and recently about a dozen graduate certificate programs.
A notable signature program is the Interdisciplinary Doctor of Philosophy degree that allows students to solve real world problems by integrating multiple disciplines to develop creative solutions. Twenty-five academic disciplines form the core of this one-of-a-kind program with more than 400 students.
We now look toward the future where quality of our programs in challenging times must be the centerpiece of our future. Better stipends for graduate assistants, help with health insurance premiums, and adequate resources to fund thesis and doctoral research are essential if UMKC is to become an institution of destination for future students. The issue of research funding is a top institutional and graduate school priority. In fact, it is so high that the School of Graduate Studies recently instituted a Research Grant program with the goal of awarding approximately 45 awards of $7,500 to meritorious proposals.
We have served the Kansas City region well. I recently reviewed where many of our graduate alumni are in their careers and noted we have served our region well, particularly in the surrounding school districts by training professionals for leadership positions. Moreover, outside of this arena I was also impressed to note not only the regional impact of many of our graduate alumni, but the national and global reach we have had. We find our graduate alumni in higher education positions. There are many in the health care, biomedical, and engineering arenas, not only in the private sector, but in the government and not for profit sector of our economy.
While we do have some distance to continue to forge ahead to enhance our standing, it is important that we pause to celebrate milestones and accomplishments. So Happy Birthday to UMKC graduate studies!