Control (of institution): A classification of whether an institution is operated by publicly elected or appointed officials (public control) or by privately elected or appointed officials and derives its major source of funds from private sources (private control).

Doctoral degree: In this report, “doctoral degree” or “doctorate” means a research doctorate. The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System terms these degrees “doctor’s degree-research/scholarship” and defines them as “a Ph.D. or other doctor’s degree that requires advanced work beyond the master’s level, including the preparation and defense of a dissertation based on original research, or the planning and execution of an original project demonstrating substantial artistic or scholarly achievement. Some examples of this type of degree may include Ed.D., D.M.A., D.B.A., D.Sc., D.A., or D.M., and others, as designated by the awarding institution.”

European Union (EU): The EU comprises 28 member nations: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

First university degree: A terminal undergraduate degree program; these degrees are classified within level 6 (bachelor’s degree or equivalent) or level 7 (master’s degree or equivalent, including “long first degrees”) in the 2011 International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED), which was developed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Individual countries use different names for the first university degree (e.g., corso di Laurea in Italy, diplom in Germany, licence in France, and bachelor’s degree in the United States and in Asian countries). For more on ISCED levels, see the Technical Appendix.

Internationally mobile students: Students who have crossed a national or territorial border for purposes of education and are now enrolled outside their countries of origin. This term refers to degree mobility in data collected by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, OECD, and Eurostat and excludes students who travel for credit mobility.

Massive open online course (MOOC): An online course made available over the Internet without charge to an unlimited number of people.

Natural sciences: These include mathematics and agricultural; biological; computer; earth, atmospheric, and ocean; and physical sciences.

Science and engineering (S&E) fields: Degree award data cover degrees in the following S&E fields: astronomy, chemistry, physics, atmospheric sciences, earth sciences, ocean sciences, mathematics and statistics, computer sciences, agricultural sciences, biological sciences, psychology, social sciences, and engineering. At the doctoral level, the medical and health sciences are included under S&E because these data correspond to the doctor’s-research/scholarship degree level, which includes research-focused degrees.

Underrepresented minorities: This category comprises three racial or ethnic minority groups (blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, and American Indians or Alaska Natives) whose representation in S&E education is smaller than their representation in the U.S. population.

Key to Acronyms and Abbreviations

BPS: Beginning Postsecondary Students

DOD: U.S. Department of Defense

DOE: U.S. Department of Energy

EU: European Union

GSS: Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering

HBCU: historically black college or university

HHE: high-Hispanic-enrollment institution

HSI: Hispanic-serving institution

IPEDS: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System

ISCED: International Standard Classification of Education

MOOC: massive open online course

MSI: minority-serving institution

NCES: National Center for Education Statistics

NCSES: National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics

NIH: National Institutes of Health

NSB: National Science Board

NSF: National Science Foundation

OECD: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

RA: research assistantship

S&E: science and engineering

SED: Survey of Earned Doctorates

SEVIS: Student and Exchange Visitor Information System

TA: teaching assistantship

UIS: UNESCO Institute for Statistics

UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

USDA: Department of Agriculture