Grand Total, All Reporting Institutions
First Professional Degree
Wage Outcomes

Traditionally the first professional degree has represented degree programs beyond the bachelor's preparing students for the recofnition, credential or license required for professional practices. While these programs would seem to be clearly appropriate for wage outcomes at 18 months post-completion, they often provide the least useful results in our model. The reasons for this are understandable. First, in the the case of law degrees, a minority of attorneys work in positions that are covered by unemployment insurance as most are self-employed, in partnership arrangements, or treated as independent contractors. Second, medical doctor graduates most often go from medical school to residency programs which are not only relatively low-paid but are frequently out-of-state.

The US Education Department discontinued the use of the term "First Professional" during the 2010-11 data collection year. SCHEV will continue to use the phrase or some time to come because the structure of existing funding models which are outside of SCHEV's sole control.

Wage Outcomes, 2020 Calendar Year
Grand Total, All Reporting Institutions, First Professional Degree
Earnings in 2020Median WagePercentage of Graduates w/ Reported Wage
20 Years (1999-00 Graduates) $141,27523%
15 Years (2004-05 Graduates) $136,77824%
10 Years (2009-10 Graduates) $121,50223%
8 Years (2011-12 Graduates) $116,44821%
5 Years (2014-15 Graduates) $99,53722%
3 Years (2016-17 Graduates) $80,54322%
18 Months (2018-19 Graduates) $60,29923%
Only years/programs meeting disclosure rules will be displayed to protect individual confidentiality.

Wages in 2020
Years Post-Completion10th Percentile25th PercentileMedian75th Percentile90th Percentile
80% of graduates with full-time wages fall within this range
20 Years (1999-00 Graduates) $45,155$86,609$141,275$250,261$413,627
15 Years (2004-05 Graduates) $50,078$84,829$136,778$221,198$363,860
10 Years (2009-10 Graduates) $44,259$73,224$121,502$185,797$324,813
8 Years (2011-12 Graduates) $47,994$74,221$116,448$176,008$302,914
5 Years (2014-15 Graduates) $39,624$65,406$99,537$139,711$215,891
3 Years (2016-17 Graduates) $35,457$58,838$80,543$118,928$151,717
18 Months (2018-19 Graduates) $30,332$47,603$60,299$85,479$121,424

As reminder, the median value represents the very middle value of the sample of values (wage or debt) sorted from low to high. This value is found in the middle line of the barcharts.
The remaining values in the chart are constructed similarly, to display how wages and earnings are distributed. Thus, while the median tells us the middle wage, the values for the 25th and 75th percentiles tell us that half of the graduates with wages fall between those two values. Likewise, 80% of reported wages fall between the 10th and 90th percentiles. The length of each bar section clue to the dispersion in the data - that is, how much earnings can vary within a range a group of individuals.
Top 10 Largest Programs at First Professional Degree Level, 2020 Median Wages Three Years Post-Completion
InstitutionProgram TitleMedian Wage
Liberty UniversityDivinity/Ministry (390602)$37,660
University of VirginiaLaw (220101)$81,965
William & MaryLaw (220101)$77,489
Virginia Commonwealth UniversityMedicine (511201)$61,477
Edward Via College of Osteopathic MedicineOsteopathic Medicine/Osteopathy. (511202)$67,473
George Mason UniversityLaw (220101)$79,803
University of VirginiaMedicine (511201)$63,669
University of RichmondLaw (220101)$76,222
Shenandoah UniversityPharmacy (512001)$128,320
Virginia Commonwealth UniversityPharmacy (512001)$125,504

NOTE: Fewer than 10 programs may be displayed if they disclosure rules for providing wage outcome data are not met.
Top 25 Programs by Enrollment
Top 25 Programs by Degrees Awarded

Graduate Debt
First Professional Degree
Student Loans

Known Debt at Graduation of Student Borrowers
Year% of grads25th PercentileMedianEstimated Payment on Median DebtMean75th Percentile

Note: The four-year bachelor’s degree mean and median debt levels reported on this site may differ from that reported by individual institutions. Many institutions report indebtedness based on the Common Data Set definition, which limits the indebtedness level reported to include only those students who entered the institution as first-time in college (FTIC) students. The inclusion of graduates who entered as transfer students may tend to lower the overall mean or median debt level because it does not include any debt that transfer students acquired while attending previous institutions outside Virginia and relatively few transfers from Virginia’s two-year colleges incur debt prior to transfer. Repayment estimates assume a standard 10-year repayment rate, and a 5% interest rate for undegraduate loans (for which multiple interest rates exist) and 6.8% for graduate and professional programs. Borrowers with federal loans may be eligible for Income Driven Repayment, which may result in lower payments.

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