Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community polls, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

Top producers of PhDs in physical sciences, comp sci, math

collegehelpcollegehelp Posts: 6,365Registered User Senior Member
This is a ranking of the top 20 baccalaureate schools of PhDs in physical sciences, computer science, and math. Physical sciences include chemistry, physics, astronomy/astrophysics, earth sciences, atmospheric sciences, and marine sciences. PhD number also includes math and comp sci.

This information is from the NSF Survey of Earned Doctorates 1995-2006 and from IPEDS. I divided the number of PhDs from a particular baccalaureate school by the number of bachelors degrees awarded by that school in the same fields (physical sciences, math, comp sci). I think this is a more valid way to "normalize" PhD production.

The number of bachelors degrees is the total over three years 2002-2004 in physical sciences, computer science, and math. These were the earliest available from the IPEDS website. I thought a three-year total would be more reliable than a one-year snapshot.

Other methods divide by total undergraduate enrollment. With this method, schools are penalized if they have large numbers of undergrads in other fields.

I limited the schools to roughly the top 100 US News universities and top 100 LACs plus the SUNY schools, some additional tech schools, and a few schools that are not top 100 in US News but which produce large numbers of PhDs.

school, PhDs produced in physical comp sci math 1995-2006, bachelors degrees granted 2002-2004 in same fields, ratio


1 PRINCETON UNIVERSITY 400 198 2.020
2 YALE UNIVERSITY 301 197 1.528
3 CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY 434 288 1.507
4 REED COLLEGE 136 102 1.333
5 OBERLIN COLLEGE 157 136 1.154
6 RICE UNIVERSITY 275 240 1.146
7 CARLETON COLLEGE 240 240 1.000
8 FRANKLIN AND MARSHALL COLLEGE 104 105 0.990
9 HARVARD UNIVERSITY 627 649 0.966
10 HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE 238 249 0.956
11 UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO 341 373 0.914
12 SWARTHMORE COLLEGE 104 117 0.889
13 OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE 71 90 0.789
14 SUNY COLL OF ENVIRON SCI & FORESTRY 18 23 0.783
15 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA 195 256 0.762
16 CORNELL UNIVERSITY 555 745 0.745
17 LAWRENCE UNIVERSITY 58 78 0.744
18 BOWDOIN COLLEGE 80 108 0.741
19 MASSACHUSETTS INST. OF TECHNOLOGY 821 1115 0.736
20 POMONA COLLEGE 84 116 0.724
Post edited by collegehelp on
«134

Replies to: Top producers of PhDs in physical sciences, comp sci, math

  • collegehelpcollegehelp Posts: 6,365Registered User Senior Member
    The next 20:

    21 BROWN UNIVERSITY 257 360 0.714
    22 KENYON COLLEGE 40 57 0.702
    23 HAVERFORD COLLEGE 84 123 0.683
    24 AMHERST COLLEGE 90 132 0.682
    25 FURMAN UNIVERSITY 100 151 0.662
    26 DAVIDSON COLLEGE 44 67 0.657
    27 WABASH COLLEGE 47 73 0.644
    28 COLORADO COLLEGE 69 108 0.639
    29 WILLIAMS COLLEGE 141 221 0.638
    30 BELOIT COLLEGE 41 67 0.612
    31 COLLEGE OF WOOSTER 95 156 0.609
    32 PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY 16 27 0.593
    33 BATES COLLEGE 69 117 0.590
    34 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-BERKELEY 864 1467 0.589
    35 RHODES COLLEGE 30 51 0.588
    36 COLLEGE OF WILLIAM AND MARY 249 425 0.586
    37 DREW UNIVERSITY 44 76 0.579
    38 BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY 79 141 0.560
    39 KNOX COLLEGE 44 79 0.557
    40 WELLESLEY COLLEGE 65 118 0.551
  • collegehelpcollegehelp Posts: 6,365Registered User Senior Member
    The correlation between SAT scores and the PhD rate was moderately high, about +.6, so SATs account for about a third of the differences in PhD production. What accounts for the rest of the variability in PhD production?
  • SeikenSeiken Posts: 1,091Registered User Senior Member
    I think your data size is WAY tooooo small.

    Your errors are too large to rank them explicitly like you did.

    For example:
    14 SUNY COLL OF ENVIRON SCI & FORESTRY 18 23 0.783

    would have data points, including errors, of: 18 +- 4.2 and 23 +- 4.8

    which has quite the range of values for ratios.
  • collegehelpcollegehelp Posts: 6,365Registered User Senior Member
    next 20:

    41 MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE 61 111 0.550
    42 EARLHAM COLLEGE 30 55 0.545
    43 UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME 153 282 0.543
    44 GRINNELL COLLEGE 93 172 0.541
    45 NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY 181 336 0.539
    46 WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY 91 171 0.532
    47 SAINT OLAF COLLEGE 126 244 0.516
    48 DUKE UNIVERSITY 185 365 0.507
    49 BRYN MAWR COLLEGE 71 142 0.500
    50 HOPE COLLEGE 82 168 0.488
    51 COLGATE UNIVERSITY 80 169 0.473
    52 DARTMOUTH COLLEGE 166 354 0.469
    53 OHIO WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY 27 58 0.466
    54 WHITMAN COLLEGE 66 143 0.462
    55 CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY 145 321 0.452
    56 VASSAR COLLEGE 57 128 0.445
    57 COLLEGE OF SAINT BENEDICT 18 41 0.439
    58 COLLEGE OF THE HOLY CROSS 67 153 0.438
    59 ALLEGHENY COLLEGE 67 156 0.429
    60 STANFORD UNIVERSITY 319 746 0.428
  • collegehelpcollegehelp Posts: 6,365Registered User Senior Member
    next 20

    61 AUGUSTANA COLLEGE 40 94 0.426
    62 CONNECTICUT COLLEGE 19 45 0.422
    63 KALAMAZOO COLLEGE 55 131 0.420
    64 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON 365 870 0.420
    65 BUCKNELL UNIVERSITY 76 183 0.415
    66 HENDRIX COLLEGE 28 68 0.412
    67 WHEATON COLLEGE - ILLINOIS 49 119 0.412
    68 UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH 24 59 0.407
    69 GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS COLLEGE 84 207 0.406
    70 UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN-ANN ARBOR 411 1021 0.403
    71 UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE 144 359 0.401
    72 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-DAVIS 304 761 0.399
    73 WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY 65 166 0.392
    74 MACALESTER COLLEGE 70 180 0.389
    75 UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER 177 458 0.386
    76 LAFAYETTE COLLEGE 44 114 0.386
    77 UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA-MAIN CAMPUS 250 651 0.384
    78 COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY IN NEW YORK 188 492 0.382
    79 UNIVERSITY OF PUGET SOUND 60 161 0.373
    80 AUBURN UNIVERSITY-MAIN CAMPUS 66 182 0.363
  • cellardwellercellardweller Posts: 1,567Registered User Senior Member
    The ranking is flawed because it does not include engineering and because schools report undergrad majors differently.

    Princeton for instance, reports zero undergrads in the IPEDS survey (or its CDS) classification for computer science while it reports all of them in engineering instead. A quick look at the Princeton CS department shows more undergrads in CS than in math, physics and chemistry combined. Including the actual CS students would more than double the denominator and cut by more than half the productivity shown for Princeton from 2 to 0.88.

    Additionally, at many schools with large engineering departments, math, physics and chemistry majors double major in engineering and pursue PhDs in engineering rather than the natural sciences. The shown productivity is artifically reduced by eliminating these students from the numerator.

    The only way to compensate for the different reporting methods would be to include engineering in the reporting and use the traditional STEM productivity (science, technology, engineering and math).
  • collegehelpcollegehelp Posts: 6,365Registered User Senior Member
    cellardwellar-
    You are right about Princeton. The data for Princeton should read:
    6 PRINCETON UNIVERSITY 400 301 1.329

    Princeton had 103 comp sci/eng grads in the time frame 2002-2004 (198+103=301). They are demoted to 6th.

    They don't offer "computer engineering" but their comp sci BSE majors are required to meet certain engineering course requirements.

    I avoided the inclusion of engineering so all universities and LACs could be compared, including those without engineering.
  • collegehelpcollegehelp Posts: 6,365Registered User Senior Member
    next 20

    81 CLARKSON UNIVERSITY 58 164 0.354
    82 MOUNT HOLYOKE COLLEGE 42 119 0.353
    83 JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY 133 378 0.352
    84 UNION COLLEGE 41 117 0.350
    85 RANDOLPH-MACON COLLEGE 14 40 0.350
    86 CENTRE COLLEGE OF KENTUCKY 24 70 0.343
    87 SMITH COLLEGE 61 178 0.343
    88 SUNY COLLEGE AT CORTLAND 14 41 0.341
    89 UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND 54 161 0.335
    90 ALBION COLLEGE 40 120 0.333
    91 WOFFORD COLLEGE 22 66 0.333
    92 UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT BOULDER 252 768 0.328
    93 WILLAMETTE UNIVERSITY 36 110 0.327
    94 SUNY COLLEGE AT GENESEO 73 224 0.326
    95 UNIV. OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN 419 1289 0.325
    96 URSINUS COLLEGE 33 102 0.324
    97 BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY 299 933 0.320
    98 BAYLOR UNIVERSITY 70 220 0.318
    99 DENISON UNIVERSITY 34 108 0.315
    100 MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY 39 125 0.312
  • Titan124Titan124 Posts: 385Registered User Member
    I can't think of a way in which these rankings are useful. Many of the great Computer Science schools like UIUC, Umich, stanford, and UWisc are going to be at the bottom because they are more prestigious then say, Reed. I mean, a PhD program can be anywhere on this list and it won't make it good or bad.-
  • collegehelpcollegehelp Posts: 6,365Registered User Senior Member
    Titan-
    Not sure I understand. This is a ranking of undergrad schools according to how many of their undergrads go on to get PhDs in sciences, math, comp sci.
  • RacinReaverRacinReaver Posts: 6,598Registered User Senior Member
    So, for example, you're dividing the number of PhDs in math granted in a year by the number of BSes granted in the same year. It seems to me like that would favor schools having few professors with very large research groups. Few professors means fewer classes taught, so less undergrad enrollment, and to get that ratio really high you just need to have research groups of 10-20+ people per professor.
  • collegehelpcollegehelp Posts: 6,365Registered User Senior Member
    RacinReaver-
    This is the number of PhDs granted 1995-2006 to students who received their bachelors from a particular undergrad school divided by the number of bachelors granted by that school 2002-2004.
  • collegehelpcollegehelp Posts: 6,365Registered User Senior Member
    next 20

    101 GETTYSBURG COLLEGE 25 81 0.309
    102 TRINITY COLLEGE 29 95 0.305
    103 COLBY COLLEGE 50 164 0.305
    104 UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT 88 292 0.301
    105 SUNY AT BUFFALO 189 629 0.300
    106 GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY 43 144 0.299
    107 TUFTS UNIVERSITY 66 222 0.297
    108 SUNY COLLEGE AT POTSDAM 47 159 0.296
    109 BIRMINGHAM SOUTHERN COLLEGE 18 61 0.295
    110 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-SAN DIEGO 354 1202 0.295
    111 WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST. LOUIS 147 502 0.293
    112 SAINT JOHNS UNIVERSITY 45 155 0.290
    113 EMORY UNIVERSITY 65 224 0.290
    114 UNIV OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL 193 670 0.288
    115 UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 233 809 0.288
    116 CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY 244 854 0.286
    117 INDIANA UNIVERSITY-BLOOMINGTON 172 615 0.280
    118 SUNY COLLEGE AT FREDONIA 41 147 0.279
    119 HANOVER COLLEGE 17 61 0.279
    120 PRINCIPIA COLLEGE 10 36 0.278
  • posterXposterX Posts: 2,246Registered User Senior Member
    No surprise here. Of all the colleges in the U.S., Caltech and Yale offer by far the most resources and opportunities for undergraduate science and engineering majors (on a per student basis). This is generally true regardless of which way you look at the data - central campus federal grants per science major, class sizes, professors per science major, etc. Other schools are very good too, but you won't necessarily receive as much personal attention.
  • modestmelodymodestmelody Posts: 4,651Registered User Senior Member
    The other problem with engineering, monydad, is that earning a doctorate in that area is quite different than in many of the other physical sciences. It's far less frequently sought after and, from my understanding, is quite undesirable from an industry standpoint.

    The MD production thing is interesting. I recently found some stats on the Brown page that showed about 20% of Brown students get their MD ten years out. The chemistry department sends about the same number of students to medical school as they do to graduate school or employment right away (and in fact, nearly all chem students get either a masters, PhD, or MD within 10 years). I have no idea if this is standard, but it certainly speaks to how changing motivations and environments can affect the numbers.

    I've smacked posterX around on his professors per science major ratios time after time, but he's not really interested in anything but crew and pumping up Yale.

    That being said, only 5 or so of the top 20 surprise me, and the prominence of LACs on these style lists time and time again just further brings home the point that these style environments are extremely successful at producing top scientists.
«134
Sign In or Register to comment.