Harvard Churns Out More Scientists

Number of science and engineering doctorates also reaches peak nationwide

The number of doctorates awarded across the nation in science and engineering reached an all-time high in 2005, a trend reflected by the increase in Ph.D.’s bestowed by Harvard.

A report released this month by the National Science Foundation found that the number of doctorates in science and engineering peaked in 2005 with 27,974 doctorates awarded, surpassing the previous high of 27,273 in 1998.

Between 1999 and 2006, the number of Ph.D.’s awarded annually at Harvard in applied math, applied physics, computer science, and engineering science increased from 12 to 29.

The increase at Harvard can be partially attributed to the overall increase in the number of students, according to Michael P. Rutter, communications manager for the Division of Engineering and Applied Science.

Over the period from 1999 to 2006, the number of applicants to Harvard increased more than threefold, and the number of admitted students nearly doubled.

The study also examined the number of doctorates given to specific demographic groups including “women, non-U.S. citizens, U.S. citizen Asians, and underrepresented minorities.” All of these groups had record-breaking numbers of doctorates awarded in 2005.

Non-U.S. citizens earned 41.2 percent of doctorates, while only 4 percent went to Asian-Americans who are U.S. citizens.

Women received 45.1 percent of all doctorates awarded. Psychology represented the science with the highest percentage of doctorates awarded to women—68 percent.