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U.S. Science and Engineering Graduate Enrollment, 2001-07

View the NSF data:

U.S. graduate enrollment in science and engineering (S&E) increased by 3.3 percent in 2007 over comparable data from the previous year, according to the latest data from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This marks the largest increase since 2002 and follows several years of stagnant enrollment numbers. Female enrollment grew by 3.4 percent, slightly more than the 3.2 percent growth for men. Growth in Asian, Black, Hispanic, American Indian and "other"/multiracial enrollment outpaced growth among whites.

Between 2006 and 2007, the largest relative increases in enrollments took place in social science graduate programs. Sociology, other social sciences, and the history and philosophy of science had the largest increases. Among the natural sciences, psychology, biology, mathematics and computer sciences posted significant growth. In engineering, civil, "other" and biomedical engineering outpaced the other fields.

S&E graduate enrollment by temporary visa holders reached its highest level since 2003 and first-time, full-time enrollment by foreign students hit its highest level since 2001. First time foreign enrollments grew by 8 percent in 2007. Temporary visa holders represented 29.7 percent of all S&E grad students. While females still represent only half of all foreign S&E students, the growth in female enrollment continues to outpace their male counterparts. While male enrollment grew by 4.4 percent, female enrollment grew by 5 percent.

View the NSF data on 2007 S&E graduate enrollment: Read the NSF InfoBrief regarding the 2007 data:

SSTI has prepared a table showing U.S. S&E graduate enrollment numbers by state from 2001 to 2007. Due to a change in methodology, the 2007 increase appears larger than it actually was. For comparable 2007 data, see the NSF tables, however, only aggregated, national data is available. The change in reporting makes any analysis of growth and trends by state unreliable, but the data offers some insight into the current state of S&E programs across the country.

California led the country in S&E graduate enrollment with 68,039 students in 2007. Enrollment in the state was driven by the California university system, which had a combined total of more than 18,000 S&E science grad students and more than 6,000 engineering students. The presence of the country's second and third largest engineering programs at Stanford University and the University of Southern California also contributed.

Other leading states include, in order, New York, Texas, Illinois and Massachusetts. Together the top five states represent 39 percent of all U.S. S&E graduate enrollment. Though Minnesota ranked twelfth overall, it was home to the individual reporting institution with the largest number of science graduate students, the University of Minnesota (all campuses). The university had 4,282 students in its graduate science programs.

For the U.S. overall, 25.5 percent of S&E students were enrolled in engineering programs. Georgia and South Carolina had the nation's highest percentage of engineering students as a share of all S&E students, with 38.6 percent and 37.5 percent respectively. In Georgia engineering enrollment was boosted by the various campuses of Georgia Tech, which had the highest number of engineering students of any U.S. university with 4,416 and the highest number of S&E students overall with 6,403. Hawaii and Puerto Rico had the highest share of graduate students in the sciences, both with 11.4 percent.

This has been redistributed with thanks to State Science & Technology Institute Westerville, OH 43081

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