Grad School Applications from International Students Increase


plane, international students

Interest from abroad

If you have an interest in applying to graduate school, you're not alone. However, it's not just Americans who want to further their education, as preliminary data from the Council of Graduate Schools reveals that the number of international applicants is on the rise.

In a recent press release, the CGS revealed that the preliminary number of applications from prospective international graduate students has increased. In 2013, this figure rose by 2 percent. This year, however, it's up 7 percent. More foreign students choosing to enroll in American schools is, of course, good for the U.S. and its economy.

"Historically, our ability to recruit the best and brightest international graduate students has enabled the U.S. to become a leader in groundbreaking research and innovations," said Debra W. Stewart, president of the CGS, in a statement. "International students stimulate the U.S. economy and research enterprise in many important ways, and we must develop policies that encourage strong, stable growth in international graduate applications and enrollments."

Where international students originate

Interest in enrolling in American graduate programs is rising on multiple continents. According to the CGS, there has been a 33 percent increase in graduate school applications from Brazil, while a 32 percent jump was reported for India. The number of applications from the Middle East and Africa were also up by 7 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

Despite fluctuations in the number of applications, certain countries consistently send graduate students to the U.S. Based on separate data from the Institute of International Education, China remains the biggest producer of international students. During the 2012-2013 academic year, 819,644 Chinese students made their way to the U.S. India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada rounded out the top five, respectively.

What international students want to study

The subjects graduate school applicants hope to study are as diverse as they are, but certain majors seem to be more popular than others. For example, applications to physical and earth sciences programs increased by 16 percent. Also popular was the field of engineering, which saw international applications jump by 14 percent.

Interest in business increased by 7 percent, while the arts and humanities experienced a 3 percent rise. However, based on the CGS' data, it's clear that many international students have their sights set on entering master's programs focused on STEM subjects.

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