12 October 2021

Number of Astronomy Majors at an All-Time High

Sanlyn Buxner University of Arizona & Planetary Science Institute

AIP Roster of Astronomy Departments with Enrollment and Degree Data, 2020The post is adapted from a report from the American Institute of Physics (AIP): Roster of Astronomy Departments with Enrollment and Degree Data, 2020.

The Astronomy Roster is a listing of all degree-granting astronomy departments in the US. It includes enrollment data for the fall of 2020 and the degrees conferred during the 2019-20 academic year. The findings in this report come from AIP’s annual departmental survey of enrollments and degrees.

The number of astronomy bachelor’s degrees awarded at US institutions is at an all-time high. The 820 astronomy bachelor’s degrees conferred in the class of 2020 represent a 23% increase over the previous year. Over the last two decades, the number of astronomy bachelors conferred in the US has increased by over 300%.

There were 160 astronomy PhDs conferred in the class of 2020, virtually unchanged from the previous year. The number of astronomy PhDs conferred in the class of 2020 is similar to the number of PhDs conferred a decade earlier.

A chart from the report, showing the growth in astronomy majors from 1975-2020.
A chart from the AIP report, showing the growth in astronomy majors from 1975-2020.

 

 

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