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Title: Foreign Doctoral Recipients: Fields of Study, Nationality, Baccalaureate Origins, and Impact on Ph.D Admissions and Production in the United States (1997-2004)

Author(s): Fang Zhou

Affiliation: Georgia Institute of Technology

Presented At: STiS 2008

Primary Topic Area: STEM Education


From 1997 to 2004, the absolute number and percentage of non-U.S. citizens earning doctorates from U.S. institutions have increased significantly in every field of study, especially in engineering and the physical sciences. Using data from the Survey of Earned Doctorates, I will examine the impact of foreigners on Ph.D. admissions, and production across different fields. I will analyze the differences in the profiles of foreign doctorate recipients in their concentration of fields of study as compared to U.S. citizens, the reasons why foreign students have earned more than half of doctorates in engineering, especially at the top engineering schools, the leading countries of origin for these foreign doctorate recipients, trends in the number of doctorates awarded to leading countries, and the baccalaureate origins of foreign doctorates to see which undergraduate institutions in their home countries are the leading suppliers of foreign doctorates. Finally, I will provide a summary for the differences in the profiles between foreign and U.S. doctorate recipients, factors that contributed to the increase in foreign doctorate degrees, and what future implications this trend will have on science, engineering, and globalization.

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