The numbers of physics and astronomy degrees awarded in the US continue to climb. In the class of 2011–12, 6776 bachelor’s degrees were awarded in physics, up 8% from the year before and 86% from a low in 1999; 1762 PhDs represented hikes of 4% from a year earlier and 62% over 2004.

The University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Washington each conferred 84 bachelor’s degrees in physics; MIT was close behind with 83, and 10 other universities had physics bachelor’s classes exceeding 50. At the PhD level MIT led the pack with 37 degrees.

Some 385 astronomy bachelor’s degrees were awarded in 2011–12, double the number from a decade earlier. With 28 bachelor’s degrees, the University of Colorado, Boulder, had the largest class. Astronomy PhDs have been steady at about 150 nationwide for the past five years. With 11, Johns Hopkins University was the only institution to...

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