NSF Reports Drop in Science, Engineering Doctorates
In a recent report, data from the National Science Foundation (NSF) shows across-the-board reductions in the number of doctoral science and engineering (S&E) degrees earned in 2002 from the previous year. The 24,500 degrees earned nationwide that year represent the lowest number since 1993.
The NSF nationwide survey reports the number of research doctoral degrees in all fields earned by students attending U.S. universities dipped under 40,000, which marks the first time in nine years that doctorates fell below that threshold. Overall, 413 universities across the United States and Puerto Rico awarded 39,955 doctorates.
The new data are reported in the 2002 Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED), an annual census of research doctoral recipients conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago under a contract with NSF’s Division of Science Resources Statistics (SRS). The full report is available at <www.norc.uchicago.edu/issues/docdata.htm>.
African Americans and Latinos, who are the largest underrepresented groups counted in the survey, made small gains in the overall number of doctorates awarded between 2001 and 2002. Within science and engineering, African Americans represented 3.4 percent of the 2002 doctorates, the same as the previous year. Latinos increased from 4.7 percent of total S&E doctorates in 2001 to 5 percent in 2002.
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