[Published originally in the March 2004 edition of Computing Research News, Vol. 16/No. 2.]
Recent Trends in Doctorates Awarded in the Computer Sciences
By Jay Vegso
Figures released by the National Science Foundation for doctorates received in 2002 show a continued general decline in recent years in the number of degrees granted in the computer sciences (CS). The number of CS doctorates awarded peaked at 997 in 1995. In the following seven years, that number declined nearly 19 percent, to 811 in 2002.
On a more positive note, the portion of CS doctorates awarded to women has slowly increased in the past few decades (Figure 1). In 2002, the 168 doctorates received by women represented nearly 21 percent of those granted. This was the first time that women had received more than 20 percent of CS doctorates. In comparison, women received 18 percent of Engineering doctorates in 2002, and 37 percent of all Science and Engineering doctorates. Data from another NSF report show that women received between 25 percent and 30 percent of CS Master's degrees for much of the 1980s and 1990s, with a jump up to 34 percent in 2000 (the most recent year covered by the report). On the undergraduate level, however, women have done less well in recent years. Between 1980 and 1990, women received between 30 percent and 37 percent of Bachelor's degrees in CS. Since then, however, this figure has hovered below 30 percent.
In 2002, non-U.S. citizens received 54 percent of CS doctorates in cases where the citizenship of the recipients was known (Figure 2). This conforms to a recent trend: non-U.S. citizens were awarded more than one-half of CS doctorates in seven of the ten years leading up to 2002. In comparison, 38 percent of all Science and Engineering doctorates and 61 percent of Engineering doctorates were awarded to non-U.S. citizens in 2002.
More trends from the NSF's data on computer science degrees have been posted on the CRA website at http://www.cra.org/info/education/us/. The results of CRA's own Taulbee Survey of Ph.D.-granting computer science and computer engineering departments in the United States and Canada will be available to departments that participated and to CRA members in February, and will be published in the May issue of Computing Research News.
 National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, Science and Engineering Doctorate Awards: 2002, NSF 04-303, Project Officer, Susan T. Hill (Arlington, VA 2003).
 National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, Science and Engineering Degrees: 1966-2000, NSF 02-327, Author, Susan T. Hill (Arlington, VA 2002).
Copyright © 2007 Computing Research Association. All Rights Reserved. Questions? E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.