Florida State ranked among nation’s top doctorate-granting institutions

The Florida State University ranks 44th among doctorate-granting institutions in terms of number of research doctorates produced in 2008, according to a new report released by the National Science Foundation. The report is based on the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED).

Florida State tied with the University of California at Santa Barbara and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University ("Virginia Tech") for the 44th spot. The three institutions each granted 344 doctoral degrees in 2008.

Florida State has been listed among the Top 50 doctorate-granting institutions since 2002, said Nancy Marcus, dean of the Graduate School.

"By graduating more and more students with research doctorates, we are enhancing our impact on these fields, which ultimately serves to enhance our reputation," Marcus said. "The data also demonstrate our strength in the humanities, education, communication and social sciences, including psychology."

The university ranked 15th in education and sixth in a category the SED calls "other," which includes several disciplines including business, communication and information.

In addition, Florida State ranked 12th in the number of doctorates it awarded to African-Americans between 2004 and 2008, an achievement that is particularly significant when one considers that recipients of doctorates often become faculty at research universities as well as leaders in government and industry, Marcus said. The university awarded 109 doctoral degrees to African-Americans during that period.

"It is important that as a nation we continue to increase the diversity of the pool of doctoral recipients so that these future leaders reflect the great breadth of experiences and perspectives of our population," she said. "The No. 12 ranking that FSU holds is evidence of our commitment to this ideal."

There were 48,802 research doctorates awarded in the United States in 2008, the highest in the nation’s history of higher education, according to the SED report.

The SED is conducted annually and is sponsored by six federal agencies: the National Science Foundation; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Education; U.S. Department of Agriculture; National Endowment for the Humanities; and NASA.