Slew of Stats on Science

2 studies from the NSF offer a detailed portrait of graduate enrollments in the sciences and how colleges fared in federal spending on science and engineering.
March 22, 2005

The National Science Foundation released two reports last week that offer detailed portraits of graduate enrollments in scientific fields and of the allocation of federal science and engineering funds to colleges.

"Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering: Fall 2002" provides a close look at a second consecutive year of increases in graduate enrollments in the sciences, after numerous years of stagnation. Over all, enrollments in science and engineering fields grew by more than 6 percent, to 540,720 from 509,620, with the biggest increases coming in engineering (9.2 percent, with growth of 20.3 percent in biomedical engineering and 10.7 percent in electrical engineering), mathematical sciences (9.0 percent), and political science (9.8 percent).

The proportion of graduate students and postdocs who are women grew only slightly, to 46.9 percent from 46.8 percent. Women made significant gains in several disciplines, though, growing by 9.8 percent in mathematical sciences, by 12.6 percent in political science, and by 12.1 percent in engineering.

Increases for Asian-Americans and Hispanics outpaced those for other ethnic groups. The number of Hispanic graduate students in the fields examined in the report grew by 8.6 percent; Asian-Americans by 10.3 percent; African Americans by 6.2 percent; American Indians by 5 percent; whites by 3.8 percent; those of other or unknown race by 10.5 percent; and foreign students by 8.3 percent.

The other report released by the science foundation last week, "Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions: Fiscal Year 2002," examines in-depth the extent of federal support for science and engineering activities.

These rankings are closely watched for signs of movement. There was no change in the membership in the top 20 from 2001 to 2002, but quite a bit within that group, as seen in the table below. Stanford University climbed to 6th from 8th, the University of Wisconsin at Madison to 8th from 11th, and Duke from 19th to 14th.

The University of California at San Diego, meanwhile, fell to 7th from 5th, the University of California at San Diego to 9th from 7th, Harvard University to 13th from 9th, Cornell University to 18th from 14th, and the University of Minnesota to 19th from 16th.

Institution 2001 U.S. funds 2001 rank 2002 U.S. funds 2002 rank
Johns Hopkins U. 992,324 1 1,136,498 1
U. of Washington 527,423 2 576,735 2
U. of Pennsylvania 438,186 3 479,852 3
U. of Michigan system 435,157 4 456,825 4
U. of California at Los Angeles 389,906 6 439,766 5
Stanford U. 369,715 8 409,122 6
U. of California at San Diego 394,480 5 408,739 7
U. of Wisconsin at Madison 331,954 11 393,625 8
U. of California at San Francisco 371,124 7 386,918 9
Washington U. in St. Louis 331,560 12 381,484 10
Columbia U. 348,388 10 372,920 11
U. of Colorado system 331,201 13 358,439 12
Harvard U. 352,230 9 356,534 13
Duke U. 288,888 19 355,278 14
U. of Pittsburgh 312,428 15 351,409 15
Yale U. 295,710 18 334,392 16
U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 299,905 17 329,046 17
Cornell U. 314,491 14 327,452 18
U. of Minnesota system 310,687 16 326,526 19
Pennsylvania State U. 283,260 20 317,795 20

                                                                                             Source: National Science Foundation

Outside the top 20, Vanderbilt moved up to 25th from 31st, Boston University to 32nd from 39th, and the University of California at Irvine to 50th from 56th.The University of Texas at Austin dropped to 41st place from 28th place.


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