Data Collection

Data are collected from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) provisional releases for each year. IPEDS data are collected from every institution on the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) list of institutions, which includes institutions based on degree-granting status and participation in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Each institution appoints a person to complete the IPEDS survey from which the data are gathered.

Data include all physics degrees as well as degrees that are frequently awarded in physics departments, such as engineering physics/applied physics, astrophysics, and physics teacher education. At institutions that have separate departments for e.g. applied physics or astrophysics, the data reflect the total number of degrees awarded in physics and allied departments. For institutions in CIP code 13.1329 (Physics Teacher Education degrees) to be counted, they must offer at least a physics minor.

For underrepresented ethnic/racial minorities (URM), we include the following categories:

  • Black or African American;
  • Hispanic or Latino;
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and
  • American Indian or Alaska Native
    who are U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents. To calculate the percentage of URM degrees, we divide by the total number of degrees to only U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents.

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