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Trends In Graduate Enrollment In Engineering A Primer

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Graduate Student Experiences

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1212.1 - 7.1212.15



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Paper Authors

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Michael Reischman

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Eugene Brown

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Session 2455

Trends in Graduate Enrollment in Engineering—A Primer

Eugene F. Brown, Michael M. Reischman

Virginia Tech/NASA


This paper discusses current trends in graduate engineering enrollment and the number of graduate engineering degrees awarded. It explores some reasons for these trends and includes a large number of references. It is hoped that this information will encourage a well- informed debate of the issues involved.


Last fall, in his President's Message to ASEE Members, Gerry Jakubowski, ASEE’s current President, identified a need to increase the number of domestic students getting graduate degrees in engineering and challenged the Society to take an active role in the process.

Here is what he said.:

ASEE needs to increase its efforts in promoting research and graduate education. There is the perception that ASEE is involved only in promoting and improving engineering education, specifically teaching, at the undergraduate level. We need to change that perception by expanding ASEE activities related to research and graduate education. Furthermore, there is a need to increase the number of Americans seeking and completing engineering graduate degrees. Currently, the number of Americans completing graduate degrees is alarmingly low, and as a result, the United States needs to fill this void by importing them from foreign countries. This has the potential of jeopardizing the quality of undergraduate engineering education as well as putting the United States at a technological disadvantage in comparison with other countries. ASEE needs to help promote the importance of graduate level engineering education.

I hope that the Society will accept Gerry’s challenge and find multiple opportunities in its Councils, Divisions, and meetings to explore, debate, and formulate appropriate actions on this important topic. However, any discussion needs to be well grounded in the data which concerns this topic. With this end in mind, to stimulate discussion of the trends in graduate enrollment in engineering and their causes, and specifically to dispel the preconceptions and questionable

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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Reischman, M., & Brown, E. (2002, June), Trends In Graduate Enrollment In Engineering A Primer Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11023

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