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Analysis Variable:   Number of Full-time Graduate Students (Support Patterns)
This variable is the number of full-time graduate students enrolled in GSS-eligible science, engineering, and health (SEH) units in the fall of the data collection year. Breakdowns of these data are available by: academic institution, state, Carnegie classification, type-of-control (public or private), discipline, highest degree granted (unit and/or institution level), source of support, and mechanism of support.
Graduate students include persons enrolled for credit in any SEH master's, Ph.D., or Ph.D.-equivalent degree program. Also included are students in professional degree programs (e.g., M.D., D.D.S., D.O., D.P.T., D.V.M.), interns, and residents who are concurrently working for a SEH master's or Ph.D. degree or enrolled in a joint medical/Ph.D. program. SEH students performing thesis or dissertation research away from the campus (for example, at Government- and contractor-owned facilities) in the United States are also included if they are enrolled for credit in an advanced-degree program.

Students enrolled in a foreign country (at a branch or extension center) and non-matriculated students are excluded. Non-U.S. citizens without temporary visas who reside outside the U.S. and are enrolled in an on-line degree program at a U.S. institution are also excluded.

Individuals who already hold graduate or medical degrees and are working on another master's, Ph.D., or Ph.D.-equivalent degree are considered graduate students, not postdoctorates.

Data were collected only from doctorate-granting institutions in fall 1972-74. While these data are accurate at the institutional and departmental level, they do NOT reflect national totals and should be used with care.

Mechanism of support data were not collected from master's-granting institutions in fall 1976 and fall 1977.

All data for fall 1972-74 and mechanism of support data for fall 1976 and fall 1977 include a few master's-granting institutions that were believed to be doctorate-granting at the time the data were collected.

Mechanism of support data were not collected in fall 1978.

Please see the data source help for details on the population size and structure for each year.
Data Limitations
Beginning with the 1985 survey, separate data were requested on the number of students supported by the Department of Agriculture. Previously, separate source-of-support data were collected for students supported by:
  • the National Science Foundation (NSF),
  • the National Institutes of Health (NIH),
  • other subdivisions of the Department of Health and Human Services,
  • the Department of Defense,
  • other Federal funds,
  • institutional funds,
  • foreign funds,
  • other U.S. funds, and
  • personal funds.

However, for master's-granting institutions in fall 1976 and fall 1977, separate source-of-support data were only collected for Federal sources, institutional funds, other U.S. funds, and personal funds. For these years, users should refrain from combining master's-granting and doctorate-granting institution data. In addition, in fall 1978, separate agency data were not requested for the DoD, and DoD data were included with other Federal funds. In fall 1972-77 separate mechanism of support data were not collected for fellowships and traineeships; for these years, fellowships data also include traineeships.

Quality Control
These data have been checked and verified to correspond to data in the following NSF publication:
Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering
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