North America New PhD Numbers Hold Steady
December 2011 (Vol. 44, No. 12) pp. 71-73
0018-9162/11/$31.00 © 2011 IEEE

Published by the IEEE Computer Society
North America New PhD Numbers Hold Steady
  Article Contents  
  PHD PRODUCTION FLAT  
  NEW PHD STUDENT NUMBERS SAG  
  COMPUTING RESEARCH ASSOCIATION  
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Each year, the Computing Research Association conducts its Taulbee Survey to document trends in student enrollment, degree production, employment of graduates, and faculty salaries in PhD-granting departments of computer science, computer engineering, and information sciences in the US and Canada.
PHD PRODUCTION FLAT
Total PhD production in computing programs held steady in 2009-2010, with 1,772 degrees granted compared to 1,747 in 2008-2009 with fewer departments reporting. Computer science degree production also was flat: 1,481 PhDs in 2009-2010 versus 1,473 in 2008-2009. This follows a drop in numbers the preceding year.
Economic conditions that resulted in some students delaying graduation two years ago and instead graduating in 2009-2010 might have halted what otherwise could have been another year of declining production.
NEW PHD STUDENT NUMBERS SAG
For the second year in a row, the number of new PhD students overall (2,962) was about the same—2,995 in 2008-2009. However, with more departments reporting in 2009-2010, this total actually represents a slight decline.
The number of new students in computer engineering programs also decreased. The proportion of new doctoral students from outside North America declined from 59.1 percent in 2008-2009 to 56.8 percent in 2009-2010, although these figures still exceed the 54 percent from two years ago. Total enrollment in computer science doctoral programs in 2009-2010 is comparable to that of the preceding year, after accounting for the larger number of departments reporting.
COMPUTING RESEARCH ASSOCIATION
The CRA is an association of more than 200 North American academic departments of computer science, computer engineering, and related fields; laboratories and centers in industry, government, and academia engaging in basic computing research; and affiliated professional societies.
The Taulbee Survey is named after the University of Pittsburgh's Orrin E. Taulbee, who conducted the surveys from 1974 to 1984 for the Computer Science Board (the CRA's predecessor organization). Learn more about the CRA and its programs at www.cra.org.