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What percentage of degrees are in S&E fields?

S&E = science and engineering. S&E includes biological/agricultural sciences, physical sciences, computer sciences, mathematics/statistics, engineering, psychology, and social sciences; excludes health sciences. Physical sciences = chemistry, physics, astronomy, and earth/ocean/atmospheric sciences.

Main Finding

Most doctoral degrees (about 58%) are awarded in S&E fields, in contrast to lower degree levels.

Key Observations

  • Nearly 6 in 10 research doctorates awarded in 2012 were in S&E fields, compared to 3 in 10 bachelor’s degrees and 2 in 10 master’s degrees.
  • S&E degrees are much less common at the associate’s level – only 8% of all associate’s degrees conferred in 2012. However, another 16% of associate’s degrees were in S&E-related technologies, primarily health technologies (12%) and engineering technologies (4%).
STEM Education Data and Trends 2014
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