The Chronicle of Higher Education
September 17th, 2015
Do American universities produce too many Ph.D.s?
It’s a decades-old question that has intensified in recent years as worries about a stagnant academic-job market, record graduate-student debt, and the often-tough working conditions
for doctoral students have grown. The situation has led some university
administrators and students to call for a reduction in the number of
Ph.D.s, especially in the arts and humanities, where those problems seem
New data show that such efforts may be having an effect.
First-time doctoral enrollment in history, English, and other
arts-and-humanities disciplines fell 0.5 percent from 2013 to 2014,
according to a report published on Thursday
by the Council of Graduate Schools and based on a survey of 636
universities. The small decline caps a steady downward trend in
enrollment from 2009 to 2014, when it fell an average of 1 percent a