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Digest of Education Statistics: 2008
Digest of Education Statistics: 2008

NCES 2009-020
March 2009


Table 319. Statistical profile of persons receiving doctor's degrees, by field of study and selected characteristics: 2004–05 and 2005–06
Selected characteristic All fields, 2004–05 All fields Field of study, 2005–06
Business and manage-ment Education Engineering Humanities Life sciences Physical sciences1  Social sciences and psychology Other fields
Total Mathematics
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Number of doctor's degrees conferred 43,354 45,596 1,312 6,123 7,191 5,576 9,683 7,461 1,327 6,873 1,377
                       
Sex (percent)2                       
Male 54.8 54.9 61.2 34.8 79.8 49.4 48.4 72.3 70.4 42.6 43.4
Female 45.2 45.1 38.8 65.2 20.2 50.6 51.6 27.7 29.6 57.4 56.6
                       
Racial/ethnicity (percent)3                       
White 80.4 80.3 82.6 77.4 76.4 84.0 80.7 85.4 84.0 78.5 77.3
Black 6.5 6.3 8.1 12.3 4.2 4.1 4.6 2.2 3.0 6.7 9.8
Hispanic 5.0 5.2 3.6 5.7 4.7 5.3 4.4 3.6 4.3 6.8 6.2
Asian 5.8 5.9 4.1 2.5 12.4 3.9 8.1 7.0 6.5 5.1 4.0
American Indian/Alaska Native 0.5 0.4 0.9 0.7 0.1 0.6 0.3 0.2 # 0.5 0.5
Other4  1.8 1.9 0.7 1.3 2.2 2.2 1.9 1.6 2.2 2.4 2.3
                       
Citizenship (percent)                      
United States 60.7 59.0 45.2 81.2 30.4 72.9 62.1 44.4 41.4 70.9 55.6
Non-U.S., permanent resident 3.7 4.0 5.3 2.2 4.2 4.8 4.4 4.6 5.0 3.4 4.4
Non-U.S., temporary visa holder 29.6 31.0 40.3 9.9 59.4 15.9 28.0 45.9 50.3 19.8 32.0
Unknown 6.0 6.0 9.1 6.7 6.0 6.4 5.5 5.0 3.3 5.9 8.1
                       
Median age at doctorate (years) 33.0 32.7 35.2 41.7 30.8 35.0 31.4 30.3 30.0 32.9 36.2
                       
Percent with bachelor's degree in same field as doctorate 52.7 53.8 34.9 29.8 75.7 53.9 48.9 65.1 69.9 55.0 33.2
                       
Median time lapse (years) to doctorate                      
Since bachelor's degree completion 9.9 9.5 11.8 16.7 8.1 11.5 8.6 7.7 7.3 9.6 12.5
Since starting graduate school 8.2 7.9 9.2 12.7 6.9 9.7 7.0 6.7 6.7 7.9 9.9
                       
Postdoctoral plans (percent)5                       
Definite postdoctoral study6  24.7 23.7 3.8 3.5 19.2 7.4 45.1 37.3 33.4 21.3 4.3
Fellowship 13.0 1.8 1.3 6.8 5.3 27.0 17.7 20.4 14.9 2.1
Research associateship 8.6 1.2 1.3 11.3 0.9 12.5 18.7 12.3 4.2 1.5
Traineeship 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.7 0.3 0.5 0.2
Intern, clinical residency 0.7 0.1 0.3 2.1 0.1 1.4
Other 1.2 0.4 0.6 0.7 0.9 3.0 0.5 0.7 0.5
Definite postdoctoral employment7  44.9 46.3 78.2 69.3 45.8 57.6 24.8 34.5 41.8 51.6 71.3
Educational institution8  27.7 60.6 58.0 8.1 48.5 12.3 13.4 24.9 32.3 53.6
Industry, business 11.2 10.6 2.5 31.6 2.3 6.0 16.9 12.3 7.1 7.7
Government 3.0 2.6 2.8 3.0 1.3 3.2 2.0 2.2 5.4 3.5
Nonprofit organization 2.0 1.3 2.9 1.1 2.5 1.4 0.6 0.5 3.9 3.1
Other and unknown 2.4 3.2 3.1 2.0 3.0 1.8 1.6 1.9 3.0 3.4
Seeking employment or study 27.9 27.0 15.6 23.3 32.7 31.5 27.0 26.0 22.8 24.1 21.0
Other/unknown 2.5 3.0 2.5 3.9 2.3 3.5 3.1 2.1 2.0 2.9 3.4
                       
Primary work activity after doctorate (percent)9                       
Research and development 34.0 36.7 42.4 9.9 74.9 12.7 41.9 61.5 45.3 35.4 31.5
Teaching 39.0 38.5 42.9 40.4 8.3 74.7 33.3 27.5 46.8 38.0 48.0
Administration 15.1 13.4 10.2 39.8 5.1 5.6 9.2 3.4 7.8 12.2
Professional services 10.2 9.5 3.8 9.1 8.7 4.3 13.0 6.1 5.9 17.2 7.2
Other 1.6 1.9 0.7 0.8 3.0 2.7 2.5 1.4 1.7 1.1
                       
Region of employment after doctorate (percent)10                       
New England 6.0 5.9 5.9 3.2 6.0 7.2 6.6 7.3 6.1 6.9 5.0
Middle Atlantic 13.8 13.9 12.5 12.7 10.9 15.1 12.4 16.7 19.2 16.0 13.7
East North Central 13.0 12.8 12.8 15.7 11.2 13.8 12.0 10.7 14.2 12.0 12.9
West North Central 6.3 6.8 7.2 10.3 3.4 8.0 7.6 4.6 5.7 5.5 7.2
South Atlantic 17.3 17.3 18.9 19.4 12.5 17.4 18.8 14.8 19.0 19.6 18.4
East South Central 4.3 4.4 4.7 6.0 2.7 4.9 4.5 2.3 3.6 4.3 5.7
West South Central 8.3 8.2 9.1 9.8 8.6 7.4 8.6 6.5 5.4 7.0 9.4
Mountain 5.6 5.7 3.8 6.7 7.4 5.5 5.1 4.8 4.0 4.8 4.4
Pacific and insular 15.1 15.5 11.1 11.3 26.1 12.2 12.9 23.8 14.2 12.0 10.7
Foreign 10.4 9.4 13.7 4.9 11.0 8.5 11.4 8.4 8.6 11.7 12.5
Region unknown # # 0.1 # # # # # # 0.1 0.1
— Not available.
# Rounds to zero.
‡ Reporting standards not met.
1 Includes mathematics, computer science, physics and astronomy, chemistry, and earth, atmospheric, and marine sciences.
2 Distribution by sex based on respondents of known sex only.
3 Distribution by race/ethnicity based on U.S. citizens of known race only.
4 Includes Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders and those of more than one race.
5 Percentages are based on only those doctorate recipients who responded to questions about postdoctoral plans.
6 Percentages are based on only those doctorate recipients who indicated definite postdoc­toral plans for study and who indicated the type of study.
7 Percentages are based on only those doctorate recipients who indicated definite postdoc­toral plans for employment and who indicated the sector of employment.
8 Includes 2-year, 4-year, and foreign colleges and universities, medical schools, and ele­mentary/secondary schools.
9 Percentages are based on only those doctorate recipients who indicated definite postdoc­toral plans for employment and who indicated their primary work activity.
10 Percentages are based on only those doctorate recipients who indicated definite postdoc­toral plans for employment.
NOTE: The above classification of degrees by field differs somewhat from that in most pub­lications of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). One major difference is that history is included under humanities rather than social sciences. Includes Ph.D., Ed.D., and comparable degrees at the doctoral level. Excludes first-professional degrees, such as M.D., D.D.S., and D.V.M. The number of degrees also differs slightly from that reported in the NCES Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The above tabula­tion excludes some nonresearch doctoral degrees such as doctor's degrees in theology. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: Doctorate Recipients From United States Universities, 2006, Survey of Earned Doctorates, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Education, National Endowment for the Humanities, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (This table was prepared July 2008.)