to the doctorate; and (4) 3,600 who earned only a doctorate.1 There are no data sources that will allow us to tease out, for the biological sciences, how many of those who earned only a master’s degree intended to earn just that degree and how many had hoped to go on to a doctorate.


T. B. Hoffer et al., Doctorate Recipients from United States Universities: Summary Report 2004 (Chicago: National Opinion Research Center). The report gives the results of data collected in the Survey of Earned Doctorates, conducted for six federal agencies—NSF, NIH, USED, NEH, USDA, and NASA—by NORC. The SED reports 5,937 Ph.D.s in the biological sciences in 2004, 703 of which were in biochemistry. Biochemists had a time-to-degree of 6.1 years, and 31.25 reported having a master’s degree. Other Ph.D.s in the biological sciences had a time-to-degree of 6.7 years, and 40.3 percent had master’s degrees. Number of master’s degrees in the biological sciences is from the National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics 2006, Table 255, (accessed October 26, 2007).

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