Science and Engineering Doctorate Awards: 2001

Technical Notes

Survey Overview top

The Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) is designed to obtain data on the number and characteristics of individuals receiving research doctoral degrees from U.S. institutions. The results of the survey are used to assess trends in doctorate production. This information is vital for educational and labor force planners within the Federal Government and in academia. The survey has been completed by individuals receiving research doctorates since 1958. The graduate schools are responsible for submitting completed forms and sending them to be compiled in the Doctorate Records File (DRF).

Key variables of the survey include:
Academic institution attended
Citizenship status at graduation
Country of birth
Country of citizenship
Date of birth
Disability status
Educational attainment of parents
Educational history after high school
Field of degree specialty (N= 287)
Field of employment
Field of science and engineering
Level of degree
Marital status
Number of dependents
Place of birth
Postgraduate plans
Primary type of financial support
Race and Hispanic ethnicity (by subgroup)
Type of academic institution that conferred degrees
Type of employment planned
Type of financial support (e.g., Fellowship, research assistantship, etc.)
Type of institutional control (public versus private)
Work activity planned after doctoral degree

A complete questionnaire is contained in the next section.

Data Collection top

The population eligible for the 2001 survey consisted of all individuals who received research doctorates (only first doctorates are included) from U.S. academic institutions in the 12-month period ending on June 30, 2001. The total universe consisted of 40,744 persons in over 400 institutions that conferred research doctorates awards in 2001.

Survey instruments were mailed to institutional coordinators in the graduate schools who distributed the survey forms to individuals receiving a research doctorate. The institutional coordinators also collected the forms and returned them to the contractor for editing/processing. Followup of missing critical items and forms is also conducted.

Since the survey collects a complete college education history, coding of institutions is very important. Because one-third of doctorate recipients from U.S. universities are from foreign countries, a coding manual for foreign institutions of higher education was developed by the U.S. Department of Education, entitled "Mapping the World of Education: The Comparative Database System" (3 Volumes).

The survey was conducted by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences under contract to the National Science Foundation until 1997; the National Opinion Research Center (Chicago, IL.) currently conducts the survey under contract.

Nonresponse top

Of the 40,744 new research doctorates granted in 2001, 92.2 percent of degree recipients returned their completed survey instruments. Limited records (containing field of study, doctorate institution, and sex) for nonrespondents are constructed based on information collected from administrative lists of the university— commencement programs, graduation lists, and other similar public records. Nonresponse was concentrated in certain institutions; graduates from 10 institutions accounted for 28 percent of the total nonrespondents.

Item nonresponse rates in 2001 for the most frequently used variables ranged from 0.2 percent for sex to 6.2 percent for race/ethnicity. No imputation was performed for missing data items.

Key variable Item response rate

Sex    99.8%
Citizenship    94.1
Country of non-U.S. citizens    98.8
Race/ethnicity    93.8
Postgraduation location (U.S. or foreign)    92.1

A complete quality profile for the 2001 SED is available upon request. A complete list of methodological research concerning the Survey of Earned Doctorates is also available upon request.

Availability of Data top

The survey has collected information on doctoral recipients annually since 1957. More limited information is contained on the SED data file for research doctorate recipients from 1920 to 1956.

The data from this survey are published annually in Detailed Statistical Tables in the series Science and Engineering Doctorate Awards, available on the SRS Web site at ( These reports focus on science and engineering fields of study. (The list of how fields of study are grouped for this report is shown at the end of the Technical Notes.) Companion data from this survey for earlier years (1960-91) were published in Detailed Statistical Tables in the report Science and Engineering Doctorates: 1960-91 (NSF 93-301). This report is out of print, but tables from it are available on request.

Information from the survey is also included in the report series, Science and Engineering Degrees; in Science and Engineering Indicators; in Women, Minorities, and Persons With Disabilities in Science and Engineering; in Foreign Participation in U.S. Academic Science and Engineering; and in special occasional publications such as Undergraduate Origins of Recent Science and Engineering Doctorate Recipients.

Results are also included in a publication series on ALL fields of study-Doctorate Recipients from United States Universities: Summary Report; this interagency report is sponsored by the Federal agencies that support the Survey of Earned Doctorates (6 in 2001). The report is available on the web at:

Selected summary data from this survey are available on the SRS Web site and in the webcaspar database by institution. Access to restricted data for researchers interested in analyzing microdata can be arranged through a licensing agreement. Additional information about this survey can be obtained by contacting:

Susan T. Hill
Director, Doctorate Data Project
Human Resources Statistics Program
Division of Science Resources Statistics
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Rm 965
Arlington, VA 22230
Phone: (703) 292-7790

Fields of Study top


Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering
300 Aerospace, Aeronautical, and Astronautical Engineering

Chemical Engineering
312 Chemical Engineering
366 Petroleum Engineering
369 Polymer and Plastics Engineering

Civil Engineering
315 Civil Engineering
336 Environmental Health Engineering

Electrical Engineering
318 Communications Engineering
321 Computer Engineering
324 Electrical and Electronics Engineering

Industrial Engineering

339 Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Mechanical Engineering
327 Engineering Mechanics
345 Mechanical Engineering

Materials/Metallurgical Engineering
309 Ceramic Sciences
342 Materials Science
348 Metallurgical Engineering

Other Engineering
303 Agricultural Engineering
306 Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering
330 Engineering Physics
333 Engineering Science
351 Mining and Mineral Engineering
357 Nuclear Engineering
360 Ocean Engineering
363 Operations Research
372 Systems Engineering
398 Engineering, General
399 Engineering, Other



500 Astronomy
505 Astrophysics

520 Analytical Chemistry
522 Inorganic Chemistry
524 Nuclear Chemistry
526 Organic Chemistry
528 Pharmaceutical Chemistry
530 Physical Chemistry
532 Polymer Chemistry
534 Theoretical Chemistry
538 Chemistry, General
539 Chemistry, Other

560 Acoustics
561 Chemical and Atomic/Molecular Physics
564 Elementary Particle Physics
566 Fluids
568 Nuclear Physics
569 Optics
570 Plasma and High-Temperature Physics
572 Polymer Physics
574 Solid State and Low-Temperature Physics
578 Physics, General
579 Physics, Other

Other Physical Sciences
599 Physical Sciences, Other


Atmospheric Sciences
510 Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry
512 Atmospheric Dynamics
514 Meteorology
518 Atmospheric Science/Meteorology, General
519 Atmospheric Science/Meteorology, Other

540 Geology
542 Geochemistry
544 Geophysics and Seismology
546 Paleontology
548 Mineralogy and Petrology
550 Stratigraphy and Sedimentation
552 Geomorphology and Glacial Geology
558 Geological and Related Sciences, General
559 Geological and Related Sciences, Other
585 Hydrology and Water Resources

590 Oceanography
595 Marine Sciences

Other Environmental Sciences
580 Environmental Science


420 Applied Mathematics
425 Algebra
430 Analysis and Functional Analysis
435 Geometry
440 Logic
445 Number Theory
450 Mathematical Statistics
455 Topology
460 Computing Theory and Practice
465 Operations Research
498 Mathematics, General
499 Mathematics, Other

Computer Science
400 Computer Science
410 Information Science and Systems


Agricultural Sciences
005 Animal Breeding and Genetics
010 Animal Nutrition
012 Dairy Science
014 Poultry Science
019 Animal Sciences, Other
020 Agronomy and Crop Science
025 Plant Breeding and Genetics
030 Plant Pathology
039 Plant Sciences, Other
043 Food Engineering
044 Food Sciences, Other
046 Soil Chemistry and Microbiology
049 Soil Sciences, Other
050 Horticulture Science
055 Fisheries Science and Management
066 Forest Biology
068 Forest Engineering
070 Forest Management
072 Wood Science and Pulp/Paper Technology
074 Conservation and Renewable Natural Resources
079 Forestry and Related Sciences
080 Wildlife and Range Management
098 Agricultural Science, General
099 Agricultural Science, Other

Biological Sciences
100 Biochemistry
103 Biomedical Sciences
105 Biophysics
107 Biotechnology Research
110 Bacteriology
115 Plant Genetics
120 Plant Pathology
125 Plant Physiology
129 Botany, Other
130 Anatomy
133 Biometrics and Biostatistics
136 Cell Biology
139 Ecology
142 Embryology
145 Endocrinology
148 Entomology
151 Biological Immunology
154 Molecular Biology
157 Microbiology
160 Neuroscience
163 Nutritional Sciences
166 Parasitology
169 Toxicology
170 Genetics, Human and Animal
175 Pathology, Human and Animal
180 Pharmacology, Human and Animal
185 Physiology, Human and Animal
189 Zoology, Other
198 Biological Sciences, General
199 Biological Sciences, Other


600 Clinical Psychology
603 Cognitive Psychology and Psycholinguistics
606 Comparative Psychology
609 Counseling Psychology
612 Developmental and Child Psychology
613 Human Indiv. & Family Development
615 Experimental Psychology
618 Educational Psychology
620 Family and Marriage Counseling
621 Industrial and Organizational Psychology
624 Personality Psychology
627 Physiological Psychology/Psychobiology
630 Psychometrics
633 Quantitative Psychology
636 School Psychology
639 Social Psychology
648 Psychology, General
649 Psychology, Other


000 Agricultural Economics
666 Economics
668 Econometrics

Political Science
674 International Relations/Affairs
678 Political Science and Government
682 Public Policy Analysis
976 Public Administration

662 Demography and Population Studies
686 Sociology

Other Social Sciences
650 Anthropology
652 Area Studies
658 Criminology
670 Geography
690 Statistics
694 Urban Affairs/Studies
698 Social Sciences, General
699 Social Sciences, Other
710 History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
729 Linguistics
770 American Studies
773 Archeology

NON-S&E top

Health and Medical Sciences
200 Speech/Language Pathology and Audiology
210 Environmental Health
212 Health Systems/Services Administration
215 Public Health
220 Epidemiology
222 Exercise Physiology/Science Kinesiology
230 Nursing
240 Pharmacy
245 Rehabilitation/Therapeutic Services
250 Veterinary Science
298 Health Sciences, General
299 Health Sciences, Other


700 History, American
703 History, Asian
705 History, European
718 History, General
719 History, Other

English and Literature

720 Classics
723 Comparative Literature
732 Literature, American
733 Literature, English
734 English Language
736 Speech and Rhetorical Studies
738 Letters, General
739 Letters, Other

Foreign Languages
740 French
743 German
746 Italian
749 Spanish
752 Russian
755 Slavic (Other than Russian)
758 Chinese
762 Japanese
765 Hebrew
768 Arabic
769 Other Languages and Literature

Other Humanities
776 Art History/Criticism/Conservation
780 Music
785 Philosophy (see also 440)
790 Religion
795 Drama/Theater Arts
798 Humanities, General
799 Humanities, Other

800 Curriculum and Instruction
805 Education Administration and Supervision
807 Educational Leadership
810 Educational/Instructional Media Design
815 Educational Statistics/Research Methods
820 Educational Assessment/Test Measurement
822 Educational Psychology
825 School Psychology
830 Social/Philosophical Foundations of Education 835 Special Education
840 Counseling Education/Counseling and Guidance Services
845 Education Evaluation and Research

Teacher Education
850 Pre-Elementary/Early Childhood Teacher Education
852 Elementary Teacher Education
856 Secondary Teacher Education
858 Adult and Continuing Teacher Education

Teaching Fields
860 Agricultural Education
861 Art Education
862 Business Education
864 English Education
866 Foreign Languages Education
868 Health Education
870 Home Economics Education
872 Technical and Industrial Arts Education
874 Mathematics Education
876 Music Education
880 Physical Education and Coaching
882 Reading Education
884 Science Education
885 Social Science Education
887 Technical Education
888 Trade and Industrial Education
889 Teacher Education, Specific Academic and Vocational Programs, Other

Other Education

898 Education, General
899 Education, Other


Business Management and Administrative Services
900 Accounting
905 Banking/Financial Support Services
910 Business Administration and Management
915 Business/Managerial Economics
917 Management Information Systems/Business

Data Processing
920 Marketing Management and Research
930 Operations Research (see also 363, 465)
935 Organizational Behavior (see also 621)
938 Business Management/Administrative Services, General
939 Business Management/Administrative Services, Other

Information Fields

940 Communications Research
947 Mass Communications
957 Communication Theory
958 Communications, General
959 Communications, Other

Other Professional Fields

960 Architecture Environmental Design
964 Home Economics
968 Law
972 Library Science
974 Parks/Recreation/Leisure/Fitness
980 Social Service Professions
984 Theology and Religious Education
988 Professional Fields, General
989 Professional Fields, Other

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