Western Washington UniversityCommunications and Marketing
DATE: August 7, 2013 11:56:37 AM PDT
Western Ranked 13th in Nation in Earned Doctorates by Graduates
Ranking Places Western Within Top 2 Percent of All U.S. Master’s-Granting Institutions

Contact: Steven VanderStaay, WWU Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, (360) 650-3004; Steven.Vanderstaay@wwu.edu

BELLINGHAM – In its most recent ratings, the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) ranked Western Washington University 13th among all masters-granting institutions in the United States for the number of its undergraduates who went on to earn a research doctorate in the past decade.

Western was previously ranked 19th. This ranking places Western within the top 2 percent of all U.S. masters-granting institutions.

The SED is widely recognized as a key national benchmark of university quality; a high ranking indicates that a university's undergraduate curriculum successfully prepares students for advanced study and research. 

“We're very pleased by this recognition and by what it says about our programs and graduates. Western prioritizes faculty/student collaboration at the undergraduate level and facilitates opportunities for student participation in academic research and creative activity.  This investment prepares Western graduates interested in continuing their education at the next level, equipping them with a scholarly sensibility and with skills that position them well to successfully pursue terminal degrees,” said Western Provost Brent Carbajal.

According to the SED:

The SED collects information on research doctorate recipients only. Research doctorates prepare students to make original contributions in a field of study. Research doctorates require the completion of a dissertation or equivalent project and are not primarily intended for the practice of a profession.

The Survey of Earned Doctorates is sponsored by six federal agencies: the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Education (USED), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The National Organization for Research at the University of Chicago (NORC) currently conducts the survey under contract to the NSF.

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