Profile of History of Science Departments (HDS 3)
Findings and Trends
- Among history of science departments that were granting degrees in 2007, total enrollment in undergraduate courses was 7,270 in fall 2017 (with an average of 404 students enrolled per department).2Appendix, Part B).
- On average, history of science departments awarded 4.6 bachelor’s degrees per department in the 2016–17 academic year. Students also completed an average of 32.3 minors per department.
- Total enrollment in graduate-level history of science courses was 420 in fall 2017 (with an average enrollment of 23.5 per department). The average number of students pursuing an advanced degree in history of science was 16.1 per department that granted such degrees.
- History of science departments employed 200 full- and part-time faculty members in fall 2017, with an average of 10.9 faculty members per department. Eighty-eight percent of these faculty were either tenured or on the tenure track, and 6% were employed part-time.
- Twenty-two percent of history of science departments hired a new permanent faculty member for the start of the 2017–18 academic year, and 27% of the departments had a faculty member come up for tenure in the previous two years.
- Women constituted 39% of the faculty members in history of science departments in fall 2017, one of the smallest shares among disciplines included in the survey. Thirty-eight percent of tenured faculty members were women, compared to 39% of faculty members on the tenure track and 50% of those off the tenure track.
- While all history of science departments provided research support for their full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty members and 80% offered such support for full-time nontenured or non-tenure-track faculty, only 40% offered such support for part-time faculty (although the percentage of part-time faculty reflects a statistically significant increase from 2012).
Supporting Student Careers
- Forty-two percent of history of science departments rated the career services at their college or university “poor” or “very poor” for their students, while just 29% rated them “good” (the most negative response among the disciplines included in the survey).
Engaging the Digital
- Twenty-nine percent of history of science departments had one or more faculty members specializing in the digital humanities, but 38% offered a seminar on digital methods.
- In the 2016–17 academic year, 9% of history of science departments offered fully online courses, while 9% offered hybrid courses. Departments offered an average of 6.1 fully online courses and one hybrid course (each average was calculated over the number of departments offering a course of that kind).
- 2Students who enrolled in more than one course in the discipline are counted in each course in which they enrolled. The same is true for the graduate course enrollment values given below. Medians for all “per department” quantities mentioned in this section are available in the corresponding data tables (please see the