California State University, Long Beach
Inside CSULB Logo

CSULB No. 1 Master’s University Origin for Doctorate Recipients

Published: November 3, 2008

CSULB has the highest number of graduates among master’s colleges and universities who went on to earn research doctorate degrees in science or engineering in the United States between 1997 and 2006, according to a recent federal report.

The latest “Baccalaureate Origins of U.S. Research Doctorate Recipients: 1997-2006” is part of the annual Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) that tracks characteristics of doctoral recipients. SED is a joint project of the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Education, National Endowment for the Humanities, U.S. Department of Agriculture and NASA, in collaboration with the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

CSULB graduates earned 554 science or engineering doctorates during the decade analyzed. The campus has long been a major source of science doctorates, as a previous baccalaureate origins report for 1991 to 1995 showed Long Beach grads earning the most science doctorates—167.

Cal State Long Beach faculty have a long history of engaging students in strong research agendas and encouraging undergraduate and graduate students to actively participate in their projects, which frequently leads to joint presentations at research conferences as well as co-authoring articles in academic journals. This level of preparation enables CSULB graduates to be accepted into research and professional doctoral programs at many research universities such as Yale, Wisconsin, Michigan and Harvard.

One such student is Tiffany Link (formerly Potter), a former CSULB President’s Scholar from Huntington Beach, who graduated in 2004 with both a B.S. in biochemistry and a B.A. in chemistry and now is working on her Ph.D. as well as M.D. degrees at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. “CSULB, particularly the science departments, gave me such a solid foundation, of not just information and mastery of material, but also taught me how to think critically, and that is key in graduate school,” she said.

“I still want to use my training as both a physician and scientist to treat a population of patients, address their medical problems on the bench and eventually bring those findings back to the bedside to improve patient care,” she said. “The two fields I am currently strongly considering are those of neurology and dermatology. Both are rich fields with plenty of room for substantial research that could contribute to the field in a meaningful way.”

According to President Alexander, “being listed at the top of this important ranking is the result of years of hard work on the part of our faculty and staff to prepare our students to pursue some of the most academically challenging fields of study. From Washington to Sacramento and throughout the scientific world, the education of more scientists and engineers has become a national priority and it should provide some comfort to those concerned that we are effectively addressing this important challenge as well as any university in the nation.”

“We attract outstanding students who do exceptionally well in their programs here at CSULB,” said Laura Kingsford, dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. “Many of our students are highly competitive for top-notch doctoral and health professional programs and go on to become leaders in academia, industry, and government. One of the keys to this success is their engagement in research with faculty mentors as undergraduate students.

“When I talk with these students, they are excited, articulate, and knowledgeable about what they are doing—the passion for the process of discovery is clearly evident,” she continued. “The research they are doing is cutting-edge and not trivial. Many are involved in research projects and doing techniques that funding agencies have considered not doable by undergraduates. Yet, they are successful and their work is presented at professional meetings and published as co-authors with their faculty mentors. We are proud of the accomplishments of our students and the faculty who play a major role in their success.”