Disciplinary Patterns in Degrees, Faculty and Research Funding

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The variations in numbers of faculty, degrees (BS, MS and PhD) and research funding over the last quarter century for eleven engineering disciplines are compared to each other and to engineering as a whole. The engineering disciplines considered are aerospace, bioengineering, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, industrial, materials, mechanical, nuclear and petroleum. Emphasis is given to the cycle experienced by engineering BS degrees during this period. The variation in the mix of BS degrees in individual disciplines which has occurred over the past two decades is analyzed. Emphasis is also given to the rapid growth in graduate programs, especially doctoral, during the last decade. It is shown that essentially all disciplines have contributed significantly to the growth of engineering graduate programs. Research funding is analyzed in terms of total funding, funding per faculty member and funding per doctoral degree; actual and constant (noninflated) dollars are considered. Research funding growth in disciplines generally has kept pace with engineering as a whole. The effect of rapid graduate degree growth on funding available for research support is analyzed for individual disciplines; many disciplines are shown to exhibit degree growth extensive enough to cause declines in constant dollar funding per doctoral degree. 1995 American Society for Engineering Education

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Journal of Engineering Education