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National Science Foundation National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics
S&E Degrees: 1966–2006


General Notes


This publication is based on data from two annual federal surveys. Data on bachelor's and master's degrees are from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Completions Survey, conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), U.S. Department of Education. Data on doctoral degrees are from the Survey of Earned Doctorates, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and five other federal agencies.

These data cover earned degrees conferred from 1966 to 2006 in the aggregate United States, which comprises the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories and outlying areas (American Samoa, the former Canal Zone, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands). Degree data are compiled for a 12-month period, July through June of the following year. For convenience, degrees in a given July-through-June period are referred to by the year in which the period ended; e.g., 2006 means the 12-month period ending June 2006.

The time series for degree data may be affected by changes in definitions, instructions, and field classifications, including the introduction of new specialties. In this report, data for earlier years are presented as consistently as possible with current field classifications. See appendix A, "Technical Notes," and appendix B, "Classification of Programs," for further information on the field classifications used. Note that detailed national data were not released by NCES for the academic year ending 1999.

This publication focuses on degrees in science and engineering fields, and, where appropriate, the data are reclassified according to NSF field categories. In the data tables, engineering technology degrees and degrees in the health/medical sciences are not included in totals for science and engineering fields but are provided as separate data tables, as are data on first professional degrees.

S&E Degrees: 1966–2006
Detailed Statistical Tables | NSF 08-321 | October 2008