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National Science Foundation National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics
Science and Engineering Doctorate Awards: 2009–10


General Notes


The data presented in this report show trends in the numbers of individuals who receive doctorates in science and engineering (S&E) fields. Detailed information is provided by field of doctorate, doctoral institution, and characteristics of the doctorate recipient. The data also show trends in the postgraduation plans of doctorate recipients. Data are from the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED), an annual census of individuals receiving research doctoral degrees from accredited U.S. universities and colleges. Data from this survey are available at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/doctorates/ and are contained in the WebCASPAR database (available at http://ncsesdata.nsf.gov/webcaspar/). WebCASPAR currently contains select data from SED through 2011.

The SED has been conducted annually since 1957 and is sponsored by six federal agencies: the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Endowment for the Humanities, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

This year's edition of the S&E Doctorate Awards report publishes data from both the 2009 and 2010 data collections.[1] These tables present detailed data on S&E doctorate recipients; totals are provided for broad non-S&E fields in most tables. Detailed data on all fields of study are published annually in the interagency report Doctorate Recipients from United States Universities. Data are also provided to the other federal agencies that sponsor the SED. The groupings of field specialties into broad fields may differ among the sponsoring agencies, according to their missions.

Ninety-two percent of 2009 doctorate recipients and 93% of 2010 doctorate recipients responded to the questionnaire. Over the period 2000–10, the response rate has varied between 91% and 93%. Most of the numbers presented are actual self-reports, as there are no adjustments for nonresponse. Partial data on nonrespondents for field of study, institution, and sex of recipient are added to the file from public sources, such as commencement programs. In tables that include data subject to nonresponse, small changes in numbers should be interpreted with caution. As numerical trends are affected by fluctuations in response rates, declines and increases may appear greater than they actually are.

Further information on the survey methodology and other data on S&E doctorate recipients are available at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/doctorates/.


[1] This report marks the final publication in the S&E Doctorate Awards series. The Doctorate Recipients from United States Universities report, beginning with its 2012 edition, will be augmented to include data formerly reported in the S&E Doctorate Awards series. Doctorate Recipients from United States Universities: 2012 is expected to be released December 2013 and will be available at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/doctorates/.

Science and Engineering Doctorate Awards: 2009–10
Detailed Statistical Tables | NSF 13-322 | July 2013