Friday, September 4, 2015

Which Degrees Are International Students Pursuing in the U.S.?


By Jordan Friedman
World Education Services
Infographic by Brittney Bodden

Both undergraduate and graduate international students considering the U.S. as their study abroad destination are in good company. Data from the Institute of International Education (IIE) reveals an almost even split between the number pursuing an undergraduate and graduate degree in 2014.


Last year, the largest percentage of international students in the U.S. was enrolled at the undergraduate level (that is, pursuing either a bachelor’s or associate’s degree). They make up almost 48 percent of the total number of international students in the U.S. while graduate students make up about 42 percent.

The number of international students pursuing bachelor’s degrees saw the greatest increase in 2014 at 10.7 percent. The number enrolled in associate’s degree, graduate degree, and non-degree programs also rose, according to the IIE.

Unsurprisingly, these trends are occurring amid a rise in the total number of international students in the U.S., which saw an 8.1 percent increase to about 886,000 last year. International students make up 4 percent of the total U.S. higher education population.

The only categories that experienced slight decreases in enrollment in 2014 were both at the graduate level: doctoral degrees, with a 2.5 percent decrease, and professional degrees (such as a law degree or a master’s degree in engineering), with a 5.3 percent drop.

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