Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Plans of US doctorates of Indian origin

Period     Number of PhDs     Definite plans to stay in the US
1994-1997 501456.3 %
1998-2001 3855 66.5 %
2002-2005 358762.7

This data is from Science and Engineering Indicators 2008, a report from the National Science Foundation of the US. There are tons of data in the report, tabulated in this 124-page Appendix (pdf). The above data is from Table 2.33 on page 93.

Other interesting pieces of data about Indian students in the US:

  • There were 66,534 Indian grad students enrolled in the US universities in April 2006. This is up from 55,099 in April 2005. The bulk of them were in S&E programs (46,743 and 38,863), with engineering alone accounting for over 50 percent within this category (24,148 and 20,160).
  • The overall enrollment figures of 66,534, coupled with the PhD degrees (such as about 3,600 for the 2002-05 period in the sciences) tell us that less than 10,000 students are in the doctoral program. The vast bulk of the Indian graduate students don't go beyond their Masters degrees.
  • The number of undergrad enrollments is just 10,603 in 2006 and 10,000 in 2005. A little less than half of them are in Science and Engineering, and a little over a fourth of them are in engineering programs.

There are probably as many Indian undergrad students in the US as there are in four or five good sized colleges. By any yardstick, these numbers are extremely small.

The Indian graduate student population in the US, on the other hand, is anything but small. In particular, the number of Indians receiving PhD degrees in engineering from the US universities (I would estimate it to be about 500 -- see footnote) is comparable to those from Indian universities (779 in 2003).

Well, that's it after spending sometime on this report. If I find time (unlikely), I will dip into it later. If you find something interesting, share it with us in the comments section!

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Footnote: About 3,600 Indians received their PhDs in science and engineering during the four year period 2002-05; the average is 900 per year. Considering just over half the S&E grad students are enrolled in engineering, I assumed this to be the case at the PhD exit stage as well to arrive at an estimate of 500 engineering Indian PhDs from the US.