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Data comparing liberal arts colleges in the sciences

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Replies to: Data comparing liberal arts colleges in the sciences

  • ZinheadZinhead Registered User Posts: 2,286 Senior Member
    Given the lousy job market for PHD's of any stripe, I would be wary of any school that produced a great number of them.
  • liska21liska21 Registered User Posts: 325 Member
    @juillet I have been mulling over your comment #38 from January over the last 3 months.
    Note that Spelman and Morehouse, both historically black colleges, are towards the middle of the list. Also note, though, that in other places analyses show that black science and engineering PhDs disproportionately come from HBCUs, and Spelman and Morehouse rank very highly when you take that into account (and also into account that very large proportions of their student bodies are low-income going by Pell recipients).

    Would it be better for an aspiring PhD who is African American to go to Colgate or Morehouse, or Kenyon or Spelman? There's no answer to that - it's going to be very individual and depend a lot on the student.

    I've been pondering the 'there's no answer to that' part. Perhaps on the individual level, there is no answer. But statistically, we can certainly address this. If we look at the table of baccalaureate origins of African Americans from 2002-2011 from Fiegener and Proudfoot (2013), it is striking (shocking) that tiny Morehouse and Spelman Colleges appear 3rd and 4th on the list of PhD in the physical sciences.
    https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/infbrief/nsf13323/#tab7

    The overall top-producers (numerically) are in this table:
    https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/infbrief/nsf13323/#tab3
    Not a single one of those top producers appear on Table 7 for the Life or Physical Science; some do show up in Social Sciences. Ca 7% of students at Harvard are African American, 6% @ MIT, 5% @ U Mich, 6% @ U of Illinois. Multiply those percentages by the #s in Table 3, and you see that those universities ought to be on Table 3. You can't explain this by differences in the strengths of the students. Morehouse's upper 75% SAT Math is 550.



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