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U.S. Remains Top Destination for Doctoral Students Post-Graduation

October 24, 2012

As the rate of foreign students earning doctorates from American universities increases — from 17 percent of the total science, engineering, and health doctoral degrees in the 1960s to nearly 40 percent in 2010 — the question is where do these foreign nationals seek work? Do they remain in the United States post-graduation or do they return to their country of origin or do they go elsewhere?

Using information from a 2008 Survey of Doctorate Recipients and 2010 Survey of Earned Doctorates, an NSF report this month suggests that a total of 85.7 percent of recent doctoral graduates continued to live in the United States after graduation, including 67.5 percent of foreign-born graduates. However, 20.4 percent of foreign-born doctoral graduates return to their country of origin. Students from South Korea, Taiwan, and Central and South America have more than 40 percent of their U.S. doctoral students return to their home country, while China, India, and Soviet Union countries have lower repatriation levels.

For doctoral graduates, both American and foreign-born, popular alternative destinations post-graduation are the European Union, Asia and Canada.

Read more of the NSF report here...

nsf, stem, higher ed, international