May 19, 2022

Higher Ed: New Report on Trends in Doctoral Education in the United States, Dataset Also Available

UPDATE April 1 2016 Report: U.S. Institutions Awarded Most Doctorates Ever Recorded in 2014

The 54,070 research doctorate degrees awarded by U.S. institutions in 2014 represent the highest total ever recorded in the 58-year history of the Survey of Earned Doctorates, (SED) an annual census of research degree recipients.

  • The number of science and engineering (S&E) degrees awarded continued a 40-year trend of outpacing non-S&E degrees. The number of non-S&E degrees awarded declined 2 percent from the previous year. In 1974, S&E degrees were 58 percent of the total awarded. In 2014, they were 75 percent.
  • The number of S&E doctorates awarded to temporary visa holders grew to 13,739 in 2014, up 2 percent compared to the previous year and up 45 percent since 2004.
  • The number of S&E doctorates awarded to U.S. citizens and permanent residents in 2014 showed a comparable growth rate — up 2 percent from the previous year and 42 percent since 2004.
  • In 2014, 10 countries accounted for 70 percent of the doctorates awarded to temporary visa holders. The top three, China, India and South Korea, accounted for more than half.
  • Women earned 46 percent of all doctorates in 2014, continuing a trend of women becoming increasingly prevalent in the annual total of recipients. The growth of women receiving S&E doctorates over the past two decades has significantly exceeded that of men. From 1994 to 2014, the number of women receiving S&E doctorates nearly doubled; the number for men increased by 26 percent.
  • The proportion of doctorates awarded to African Americans has risen from 4.1 percent to 6.4 percent between 1994 and 2014. Over the same period, the rate for Hispanics or Latinos rose by 3.3 percent to 6.5 percent.

Direct to Full Text Report and Dataset


The following report and dataset were released by the National Science Foundation earlier today.

From NSF:

2016-03-31_13-15-33This report summarizes trends in U.S. doctoral education by using data from the Survey of Earned Doctorates, an annual census of research doctorate recipients from U.S. universities. Important trends in this population are highlighted in this report-including the representation of women, minorities, and foreign nationals; emergence of new fields of study; time to complete doctoral degree; and employment opportunities after graduation.

A total of 70 data tables accompany the report.

Direct to Interactive Version of Report

Direct to Data Sources Used, Glossary of Terms

Direct to PDF Version of Report (24 pages)

Direct to Data Tables (Available to Download in PDF and XLS Formats)

See Also: New Data: Number of Science and Engineering Graduate Students Increased 5.5% Between 2013-2014 (March 30, 2016)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.