Graduate Student Survey
- Assistantship, Research
- A research assistantship is a financial award given to a graduate student who
is assigned primarily to research assistant activities.
- Assistantship, Teaching
- A teaching assistantship is a financial award given to a graduate student who
is assigned primarily to teaching assistant activities.
- Computer-Aided Science Policy Analysis and Research
(CASPAR) database system
- CASPAR is an easy-to-use tool for retrieval and analysis of statistical
data on academic resources. It provides the analyst with an extensive
and growing library of multi-year statistics on the state of higher
education in general, and academic science and engineering resources
specifically. The data library is based on sets of standardized
institution and discipline definitions across the multiple sources in
- Degree Level
- Degree level refers to type of graduate degree granted by each department
or program, either Ph.D, Master's, or No Ph.D or Master's Degree Offered
(i.e., a no-degree program). Ph.D.
equivalent degrees such as Sc.D. and D.Eng. are also included, but
Ed.D., M.D., and other professional degrees are not.
- Department or Program
- Departments or programs are the reporting units within an
institution from which the data are
collected. To be eligible for the survey, they must be graduate
degree-granting departments or programs in science or engineering
- The Graduate Student Survey
Statistical Database Management System consists of a
series of screens arranged in a hierarchy. Institutions
constitute the hierarchy's highest level and are arranged
numerically according to FICE code.
The second level consists of schools or reporting
units, arranged numerically within an institution according to
School Identification Number (SIN). The SIN is a unique 7-digit
number formatted as follows: the first six digits represent the
institution's FICE code, and the last digit is the school sequence
The third level consists of departments or programs, arranged
within each school in numerical order according to Discipline
Identification Number (DIN). The DIN is a unique 5-digit number
formatted for each department as follows: the first three digits
are the Discipline Code, and the final two digits make up
the Department Sequence Number.
- Division of Science Resources Studies (SRS)
- The Division of Science Resources Studies (SRS), part of the
National Science Foundation's Directorate for Social,
Behavioral, and Economic Science, gathers and analyzes data
on science and engineering (S&E) resources in each sector of
the economy and at the national and international levels.
Decisions by Federal and State agencies, industry, and academic
officials on the allocation of resources are often based on data
collected by SRS.
- Doctorate-Granting Institution
- A doctorate-granting institution is a university, its affiliated
schools or colleges (medical school, dental school, etc.), or any
branch campus that grants science and engineering (S&E)
doctorates. This definition differs from
that used by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES),
which considers only those institutions that granted "significant
numbers" of doctoral degrees to be doctorate-granting
- Fall 19xx
- Institutions record data based on information from the fall
- Federal Interagency Committee on Education (FICE) Code
- FICE codes are assigned by the Department of Education and are
used as the primary identifier for each academic institution
in the Graduate Student Survey. A FICE code consists of an
unstructured 6-digit number that is unique for each institution.
Institutions included in this survey are arranged in the database
in ascending FICE code sequence.
- Federal Sources of Support
- Federal sources of support include all agencies, offices, and
departments of the U.S. Federal Government. This includes the
Department of Defense (DOD), the National Institutes of Health (NIH),
the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the National
Science Foundation (NSF), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) as well as all other Federal entities. Students whose primary
source of support is through Federally guaranteed student loans are
not considered to be Federally supported but rather are counted as
self-supported in this survey.
- A fellowship is any competitive award (often from a national
competition) made to a student that requires no work of the
- See also Traineeship.
- First-Time Graduate Student
- A first-time graduate student has enrolled in the program in which he or she
is pursuing a degree as of the beginning of the fall term. All
other students should be considered to be beyond their first time
- Foreign Sources of Support
- A foreign source of support is any non-U.S.
funding source, such as foreign governments, industrial firms, or
specialized agencies of the United Nations.
- Foreign Students and U.S. Citizens
- For the purposes of the
Graduate Student Survey any student holding a temporary visa is
counted as "foreign," regardless of his or her race/ethnicity.
U.S. citizens and permanent residents are reported according to their
racial/ethnic category as defined by the Bureau of the
Census. The definition of U.S. citizens and permanent residents
includes native residents of a U.S. possession and applicants for
U.S. citizenship holding green cards.
- See also Race/Ethnicity.
- Form 811 (List of Departments or Programs)
- The form 811 includes general instructions to all coordinators and a
list of departments and programs specific to each school. The
instructions explain how to mark the form to reflect any changes
in the department list, including merged, split, deleted, or new
departments/programs. The list of departments and programs
includes the department name, code, degree level, and the number
of full-time students, part-time students, and postdoctoral
- Form 812 (Department or Program Data Sheet)
- The form 812 is the questionnaire form on which the data for each department or
program within an institution are recorded. Respondents use a
separate form 812 for each S&E
graduate degree-granting department or
program. The form 812 also contains definitions,
instructions on how to record the data, and information on
the person(s) to call for further assistance.
- Full-Time Graduate Student
- A graduate student is classified as "full-time" according to each
individual institution's policy and definition of full-time status.
This may include any combination of study, teaching, and research.
For example, many institutions base full-time status on the number
of credit hours taken; others calculate full-time according to the
amount of fees paid by the student.
- Graduate Student
- A graduate student is a person enrolled for credit in any science
and engineering (S&E) master's or Ph.D. degree
program in the fall semester. Individuals who already hold graduate
or medical degrees and are working on another master's or Ph.D.
degree are considered graduate students, as are S&E students
performing thesis or dissertation research away from campus (for
example, at Government or contractor-owned facilities) in the United
States as long as they are enrolled for credit in an advanced-degree
- Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
- Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are
institutions of higher education that have been historically
considered to enroll predominantly black students. An official
list of HBCUs is maintained by the Department of Education. This
list, which is reviewed annually, serves as the basis by which
institutions are considered to have HBCU standing for the Graduate
- Imputation, as defined by NSF, denotes a computerized process that
estimates data for fully or partially nonrespondent institutions
based on their own data from earlier years, if available, or data
from peer institutions. Data can be imputed for an entire
institution, a department, or individual data cells within a
department for which actual data could not be provided. The
imputation procedures are described in more detail in the
- Inflator/Deflator Factors
- The imputation process involves calculating inflator/deflator
factors which reflect national growth/decline for key variable data.
The key variables come from fully responding departments in both the
current and previous year's surveys for each combination of degree
level and discipline. For a partially nonresponding department,
after the key variables are calculated, they are distributed among
the various subtotal and detail fields by using the same relative
percentages last reported for that department. For a totally
nonrespondent department, the inflator/deflator factors are applied
to the previous year's key variable values for the department to
derive a current year estimate.
- Institutional Profiles
- Selected data items for individual doctorate-granting,
master's-granting, and historically black colleges and universities
(HBCUs) are available on computer-generated institutional
profiles. The profiles consist of data for the Graduate Student
Survey, NSF/SRS R&D Expenditures Survey,
and the NSF/SRS Survey of Federal
Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions.
Institutional profiles for a single institution, or limited group of
institutions, may be requested by contacting Mr. Richard J. Bennof
of SRS at (703) 306-1772; firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Institutional Support
- Students with institutional support receive their
largest source of financial support through institutional
funds. This category includes students receiving tuition waivers.
State and local government support are also reported as
- Key Variables
- Key variables are four specific data items from the NSF form 812:
total full-time students; total part-time students; total
postdoctoral appointees; and total non-faculty doctoral researchers.
The imputation process uses the key
variables to estimate data for fully or partially nonresponding
institutions. Just before closeout, all schools declining to
participate are contacted a final time in order to obtain
key variables necessary for imputing data.
- Medical School
- Data reported by medical schools are tabulated and analyzed
separately from those of graduate schools. Student counts exclude
M.D., D.V.M., D.D.S., and D.O. candidates, interns and residents
unless they are concurrently working for a master's or Ph.D in a
science or engineering field or are enrolled in a joint M.D./Ph.D.
- No-Degree Program
- For the purposes of this survey, departments or programs that do
not offer graduate degrees (Ph.D. or master's) are considered as
"no-degree" programs, even if they grant a first professional
doctorate. Such "no-degree" programs should not report students,
postdoctoral appointees, or anyone else in items 5, 6, and 7 of
the form 812. Individuals in a "no-degree"
program are included only in
Item 8, and only if they qualify as postdoctoral appointees or
other non-faculty research staff.
- Other Nonfaculty Research Staff with Doctorates
- Located in item 8 of the form 812,
Other Nonfaculty Research Staff with Doctorates includes all
doctorate-holding scientists and engineers who are involved
principally in research activities but are not considered either
postdoctoral appointees or members of the regular faculty.
- Other U.S. Sources of Support
- The category Other U.S. Sources of Support includes students
supported by industrial firms,
nonprofit institutions (independent research institutes,
professional societies, philanthropic foundations, etc.), and all
other sources of support originating within the United States.
However, Other U.S. Sources of Support does not include loans,
family money, or personal savings used by
students supporting themselves,
nor does it include Federal or institutional sources of support.
Students supported primarily by foreign industrial firms, as well
as by foreign governments, are reported under
- Part-Time Graduate Student
- Part-time graduate students pursue a science and engineering
(S&E) graduate degree, but not on a full-time
schedule, as defined by the institution. They are reported as
part-time based on each individual institution's definition of
- Postdoctorates have science and engineering (S&E)
Ph.D.'s, M.D.'s, D.D.S.'s or D.V.M.'s (including foreign degrees
equivalent to U.S. doctorates) and devote their primary effort to
their own research training through research activities or study in
the department under temporary appointments carrying no academic
rank. These individuals may contribute to the academic program
through seminars, lectures, or working with graduate students. They
are not themselves graduate students.
- Primary Source of Support
- Students are reported only once by their largest, or primary source
of support for the fall semester. If a student is
supported by multiple sources, he or she would not be counted
separately for each source, but instead would be counted only once
by the largest source of support.
- The Bureau of the Census definitions of race/ethnicity
used in this survey are as follows:
- Black, non-Hispanic
Persons having origins in any of the black racial groups (except those of Hispanic origin).
- American Indian or Alaskan native
Persons having origins in any of the original peoples of North America.
- Asian or Pacific Islander
Persons having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands. These areas include China, Japan, Korea, the Philippine Islands, and Samoa.
Persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
- White, non-Hispanic
Persons having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East, except those of Hispanic origin.
- See also Foreign Students and U.S. Citizens.
- Sample Population
- From 1984 to 1987, the Graduate Student Survey was conducted as a
sample consisting of three strata: a certainty stratum that included all
doctorate-granting institutions and all historically black
colleges and universities; a probability stratum that included a
sample of large master's-granting institutions; and a probability
stratum that included a random sample of small master's-granting
institutions. The complete survey
universe has been surveyed since fall 1988.
- Science and Engineering (S&E)
- Science and Engineering (S&E) refers to disciplines in the
fields of Engineering, Physical Sciences, Mathematical Sciences,
Computer Sciences, Life Sciences, Psychology, and Social Sciences.
A more complete list of S&E
disciplines is available.
- Self-Supported Student
- Self-supported students are those whose largest source of support
comes from any loans (including Federal loans) or from personal
or family financial contributions.
- Survey Universe
- Survey Universe includes all the institutions in the survey
population in any given year. Since the survey was first conducted
in 1972, the survey universe has been expanded in three ways:
first, by including all medical schools
with graduate programs; second, by broadening the scope to include
additional doctorate-granting institutions and a wider range of
academic departments; and third, by including all science and
engineering departments in institutions that grant a master's as the
highest degree in the sciences and engineering. In its present form,
the survey provides national estimates of graduate enrollment and
postdoctoral appointment in all U.S. academic institutions that grant
doctoral or master's degrees or have postdoctoral programs in any
science and engineering (S&E) field.
- A traineeship is an educational award given to a student
selected by the institution.
- See also Fellowship.