Doctorate Survey: Puget Sound No. 1 in the State Among its Peers

April 20, 2011

TACOMA, Wash. – More graduates from University of Puget Sound go on to earn doctoral degrees than from any other baccalaureate college in Washington state, according to a recent survey. Puget Sound also ranked second overall among comparable colleges in the Pacific Northwest, and fifth on the West Coast for producing students who go on to get a Ph.D., M.D., or other doctoral degree.

The data, comparing 450 baccalaureate colleges across the country, is the result of an annual survey by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at The University of Chicago. The researchers gather information from 44,000 recipients of doctorates in science, engineering, or health from American academic institutions.

The most recent survey includes students who completed their doctoral program during the 10-year period from 2000 to 2009. Over this decade Puget Sound ranked in the top 10 percent nationally among baccalaureate colleges. Standing at number 43 among the 450 institutions, Puget Sound leads comparable colleges in the state and is second only to Reed College in Portland, Ore. in the Pacific Northwest.

Puget Sound has a long record of success in seeing students accepted to graduate programs in the medical and health professions, with figures well above the national average. It also has produced notable alumni in fields ranging from business, to the arts and sciences, to politics and the humanities.

The NORC survey, completed at the end of 2010, also uncovered several national trends. Doctorates in science and engineering fields, particularly in life sciences, represent a growing share of all doctorates awarded, it found. The relative share awarded in social sciences, education, and humanities has declined over the past decade, even though the number of doctorates in education and in humanities was larger in 2009 than it was in 1999.

The Survey of Earned Doctorates is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. It has been conducted since 1973 and is designed to provide demographic and career history information that can be used by government agencies and academia to make planning decisions regarding education. It also is used by employers to understand and predict employment, industry, and salary trends.

To view some of the generalized national data from the survey go to:,frameless.htm?NRMODE=Published

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