This report provides a portrait of S&E higher education in the United States, including trends over time and comparisons with other nations. S&E fields, as defined in this report, include 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 the doctoral-level data correspond to the doctor’s-research/scholarship degree level, which includes research-focused degrees.

The report is divided into four main sections. The first section provides an overview of the U.S. higher education system, with special emphasis on several types of institutions, and on distance and online education. This section also provides information on sources of aid for undergraduate and graduate S&E education, with a focus on the federal government’s role. The second section looks at trends over time in S&E degree awards at the undergraduate and graduate levels, highlighting patterns by field. The third section focuses on the demographic attributes of S&E degree recipients, including sex and race and ethnicity. It examines trends by degree level and field. The final section focuses on international S&E higher education. This section provides data on students on temporary visas who study or earn degrees in the United States. It also benchmarks the United States with other nations in terms of S&E degrees awarded.