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ASU improves to No. 21 in latest Survey of Earned Doctorates

ASU rose from No. 42 in previous rankings


National Science Foundation and National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics logos

The Survey of Earned Doctorates is sponsored by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics within the National Science Foundation (NSF) and by three other federal agencies.

April 06, 2022

Arizona State University was ranked No. 21 in the nation for the number of recipients of research doctorates, according to the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics’ annual Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED).

ASU ranked ahead of the University of Arizona, University of Pennsylvania and Duke University in the most recent results. ASU was ranked 42 in the previous year’s report. 

ASU also ranks No. 12 in humanities and arts, No. 13 in mathematics and computer sciences, No. 15 in engineering and No. 17 in psychology and social sciences. 

“We are proud of our improved rankings in the Survey of Earned Doctorates,'' said Elizabeth Wentz, vice provost and dean of the Graduate College. “Our improvement in the rankings will lead to a more accurate reflection of the incredible work our graduate students and faculty are doing to advance groundbreaking research and discovery.” 

The Survey of Earned Doctorates is an annual census of individuals who receive research doctoral degrees from accredited U.S. academic institutions. The SED, conducted since 1957, collects information on the doctoral recipient’s educational history, demographic characteristics and post-graduation plans. Results are used to assess the characteristics of the doctoral population and trends in doctoral education and degrees.

In 2020, 55,283 research doctorate degrees were awarded by U.S. institutions, 536 of which were from ASU. In Arizona alone, there were 1,052 doctorate degrees awarded, with the majority of degrees being awarded from ASU. 

In other findings from the survey, the number of research doctorate degrees awarded in the U.S. in 2020 decreased by about 300 from 2019, and 46% of all doctorates awarded that year were to women. Review the full rankings and the SED executive summary.

The survey is sponsored by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics within the National Science Foundation, as well as the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

Recent research doctorate graduates from U.S. universities can complete the SED questionnaire online or by hard copy.

Written by Jenna Nabors

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