U.S. Graduate Enrollments in Science and Engineering Gain in 2006

Despite recent concerns about enrollments in graduate science and engineering programs at U.S. universities, graduate enrollments continue to increase in many fields, according to the latest National Science Foundation (NSF) data. In 2006, enrollments in the biological sciences, earth sciences, mathematical sciences, physical sciences, psychology, engineering, and the social sciences continued to increase. Overall graduate science and engineering (S&E) enrollment increased for the eighth year in a row. Only graduate enrollments in computer sciences and agricultural sciences declined. In 2006, foreign student enrollment increased by 2.1 percent after declining the previous two years, and U.S. citizen and permanent resident enrollment continued to increase for the sixth year in a row.

NSF data show that the number of postdocs in S&E fields reached a new high of 34,813 in 2006, nearly 60 percent of them foreign visa holders and the remainder U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

- January 10, 2008


Trends in U.S. Graduate S&E Enrollment by Field, 1975 – 2006

Photo_clouds_1Please go to the Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology, a AAAS participatiing organization, for a complete guide to data on scientists and engineers. Detailed historical data and data on S&E degrees, S&E employment trends, and enrollment in S&E degress programs are also collected by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Science Resources Statistics. NSF collects data on graduate students, science and engineering degrees, international human resources trends, and the science and engineering workforce.

U.S. Graduate Science and Engineering (S&E) Enrollments

Photo_moonNSF collects data on enrollments in science and engineering degree programs at U.S. institutions. The charts above show graduate enrollment trends in U.S. universities, by discipline and also by citizenship of students.

- Chart. Trends in U.S. Graduate S&E Enrollment by Field, 1975-2006 (1/08)Data Table
- Chart. Trends in U.S. Graduate S&E Enrollment by Field, 1975-2006 (individual field trends) (1/08)

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