This article is published in the May 2020 issue.

2019 Taulbee Survey: Total Undergrad CS Enrollment Rises Again, but with Fewer New Majors; Doctoral Degree Production Recovers from Last Year’s Dip

2019 CRA Taulbee Survey



This article and the accompanying figures and tables present the results from the 49th annual CRA Taulbee Survey, which documents trends in student enrollment, degree production, employment of graduates, and faculty salaries in academic units in the United States and Canada that grant the Ph.D. in computer science, computer engineering, or information.

After twelve years of sustained growth in undergraduate enrollment, there may be signs of a slowdown in that there are, on average, fewer new undergraduate majors in 2019-20 than there were in 2018-19. Nevertheless, the average number of CS majors continued its rise in 2018-19, both in U.S. CS departments and overall.

Growth in tenure-track faculty size was small in the academic departments in 2018-19, but there again was double-digit percentage increase in full-time teaching faculty and an increased number of supported TAs. We don’t track part-time faculty; it is possible that departments also were continuing to increase this category of instructional assistance.

Doctoral program activity, both enrollment and completions, saw healthy increases. Master’s degree production also was up in U.S. CS departments in 2018-19, but as was the case for bachelor’s programs, the number of new master’s students was down in 2019-20.

In terms of diversity, women continue to make small incremental gains in representation in degrees awarded and in enrollment at both the bachelors and doctoral level, to 21.0 percent of CS bachelors graduates and 20.3 percent of CS doctoral graduates. The picture for domestic underrepresented minorities (URM; includes Native American, Black, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and Multiracial) is mixed. URMs increased slightly at the undergraduate level in both degrees awarded and enrollment, to 14.7 percent of CS degrees awarded, but decreased at the doctoral level in both degrees and enrollment, to 3.1 percent of doctoral graduates.

We thank all of the respondents to this year’s questionnaire. The participating departments are listed at the end of this article. CRA member respondents will again be given the opportunity to obtain certain survey information for a self-selected peer group. Instructions for doing this will be emailed to all such departments.