Foreign postdocs in the U.S.

What are the numbers?

The exact size of the postdoctoral workforce in the U.S. is still debated, some experts claiming there is an underestimation on the numbers of postdocs in the USA.

“the number of postdoctoral researchers … may be under-estimated by as much as a factor of 2”

NIH’s Biomedical Research Workforce Working Group Report (2012).

However, it is clear that the number of postdocs in the U.S. coming from other countries has been steadily increasing over the past decades, exceeding U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

According to data from the Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering from the NSF, there was an estimation of 64,000 postdocs working in the U.S., including around 35,000 international postdocs.

International postdocs have become essential to the workforce of American laboratories and scientific discoveries!

Evolution of the proportion of U.S. vs Non-U.S. postdocs

1985

1995

2005

2015

International postdocs in Science and Engineering fields by state (2015)

  • Rank
  • 1st
  • 2nd
  • 3rd
  • U.S. Institution
  • California
  • Massachusetts
  • New York

U.S. and Non-U.S. postdocs by field (2015)

All postdocs

U.S. citizens & Permanent residents

International postdocs

Ranking of U.S. institutions by the number of postdocs appointed (2015)

  • 2nd
  • Stanford University
  • 1st
  • Harvard University
  • 3rd
  • Johns Hopkins University

RankInstitutionAll postdoctoral appointees  
All institutions63861
1Harvard U.5674
2Stanford U.2264
3Johns Hopkins U.1679
4Massachusetts Institute of Technology1493
5U. Michigan1300
6U. California, San Diego1250
7Columbia U. in the City of New York1249
8U. Washington1205
9U. Colorado1199
10U. California, Berkeley1184
11Yale U.1157
12U. California, San Francisco1041
13U. California, Los Angeles1016
14U. Pennsylvania901
15Cornell U.856
16U. California, Davis833
17U. North Carolina, Chapel Hill803
18U. Wisconsin-Madison765
19U. Minnesota755
20Northwestern U.746
21New York U.680
22U. Florida679
23U. Pittsburgh664
24Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai643
25Emory U.642
26U. Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center637
27Vanderbilt U.629
28Ohio State U.619
29Texas A&M U.615
29Washington U., Saint Louis615
31U. Chicago586
32Duke U.584
33Mayo Clinic, Mayo Graduate School576
34Scripps Research Institute573
35U. Texas Southwestern Medical Center562
36California Institute of Technology552
37U. Illinois, Urbana-Champaign542
38Baylor C. of Medicine537
39Princeton U.526
40North Carolina State U.497
41U. Maryland, College Park496
42U. Utah487
43U. Southern California475
44Michigan State U.471
44U. Arizona471
46Pennsylvania State U.436
47Boston U.421
48U. Virginia420
49Indiana U.394
50Purdue U.391
51U. Texas, Austin370
52Rutgers, State U. New Jersey362
53U. Massachusetts, Medical School348
54U. Iowa346
55U. Maryland Baltimore325
56U. California, Santa Barbara306
57U. Cincinnati303
58Iowa State U.299
59U. California, Irvine297
60Oregon Health and Science U.292
60Rockefeller U.292
62Yeshiva U.283
63U. South Florida, Tampa282
64Case Western Reserve U.271
65U. Houston264
66Rice U.263
66SUNY, Stony Brook U.263
68U. Miami258
69Arizona State U.257
69Louisiana State U.257
71SUNY, U. Buffalo256
72Colorado State U., Fort Collins254
73Brown U.252
73U. Alabama, Birmingham252
75U. Georgia250
76U. Kansas249
77Georgia Institute of Technology237
77U. Texas Health Science Center, Houston237
79U. Hawaii, Manoa234
80U. Rochester233
81Texas Tech U.228
82Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State U.225
83U. Kentucky221
84U. Oklahoma216
85U. Illinois, Chicago214
86U. Connecticut213
87Oregon State U.212
88U. Nebraska-Lincoln205
89Dartmouth C.204
90Florida State U.202
91Virginia Commonwealth U.194
92Carnegie Mellon U.193
93U. California, Riverside190
94Tufts U.182
95Medical U. South Carolina178
96Washington State U.175
97Temple U.167
97U. Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio167
99U. Missouri, Columbia165
100Augusta U. a159
101Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute157
102Kansas State U.146
102Wayne State U.146
104U. Massachusetts, Amherst144
105Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory143
106U. Tennessee, Knoxville136
107Tulane U.133
108U. Delaware132
109U. South Carolina129
110U. California, Santa Cruz125
111U. New Mexico124
111U. Notre Dame124
113City of Hope, Irell and Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences119
114Thomas Jefferson U.117
115Northeastern U.114
116George Washington U.111
117Georgetown U.109
118U. Nebraska, Medical Center108
119U. Louisville107
120U. Oregon105
121U. Tennessee, Health Science Center103
122U. Texas Medical Branch102
123Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution99
124Brandeis U.95
125Drexel U.93
126U. Mississippi88
127Southern Illinois U., Carbondale87
127Wake Forest U.87
129SUNY, U. Albany86
129U. Vermont86
131Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy83
132U. Texas, Dallas80
133U. Nevada, Reno78
134Clemson U.77
135Georgia State U.76
136Florida International U.75
137U. Arkansas, Fayetteville69
138U. Maryland, Baltimore County67
139Medical C. Wisconsin66
140Colorado School of Mines65
141Northern Illinois U.64
142U. Akron60
142U. Texas, Arlington60
144Saint Louis U.59
145U. Texas, El Paso58
146U. North Texas, Denton56
147North Dakota State U.55
148U. Wyoming54
149Oklahoma State U.53
150Syracuse U.52
151Mississippi State U.51
151Montana State U.51
151U. Central Florida51
151U. Idaho51
151West Virginia U.51
156Loma Linda U.50
157American Museum of Natural History48
158CUNY, City C.47
159U. New Hampshire46
160Loyola U., Chicago45
161George Mason U.44
162Boston C.43
162Kent State U.43
164New Jersey Institute of Technology42
164Utah State U.42
166U. Alabama, Tuscaloosa41
167Auburn U.40
167U. California, Merced40
169U. Texas, San Antonio39
170U. Alaska, Fairbanks37
171Albany Medical C.36
171U. Montana36
173Baylor U.34
174San Diego State U.33
174Uniformed Services U. of the Health Sciences33
174U. Nevada, Las Vegas33
177U. Rhode Island32
178Creighton U.31
178Illinois Institute of Technology31
178Old Dominion U.31
178U. Toledo31
178Worcester Polytechnic Institute31
183South Dakota State U.30
183SUNY, Binghamton U.30
183U. South Alabama30
186Missouri U. of Science and Technology29
186U. North Carolina, Charlotte29
188Brigham Young U.28
188East Carolina U.28
188Rush U.28
191Rosalind Franklin U. of Medicine and Science27
191U. Massachusetts, Lowell27
191U. North Carolina, Greensboro27
194Lehigh U.26
194Southern Methodist U.26
194U. North Texas, Health Science Center26
197C. of William and Mary25
197Northeastern Ohio Universities, C. of Medicine25
197Ohio U.25
197U. Wisconsin-Milwaukee25
197Western U. of Health Sciences25
202Michigan Technological U.24
202New Mexico State U.24
202SUNY, Upstate Medical U.24
202U. North Dakota24
206Air Force Institute of Technology23
206Stevens Institute of Technology23
206U. Arkansas for Medical Sciences23
209Howard U.22
209Naval Postgraduate School22
209U. Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras22
209Van Andel Institute22
213Louisiana Tech U.21
213Northern Arizona U.21
215North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State U.20
216Florida A&M U.19
217Delaware State U.18
217Jackson State U.18
217Texas State U.18
217U. Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus18
221Catholic U. of America17
221Clarkson U.17
221CUNY, Brooklyn C.17
221Marquette U.17
225Bowling Green State U.16
225New York Medical C.16
225SUNY, C. of Environmental Science and Forestry16
228Portland State U.15
228U. Maine15
230California State U., Los Angeles14
230Lincoln U., Jefferson City14
230Nova Southeastern U.14
230Texas A&M U.-Corpus Christi14
230U. Southern Mississippi14
235Florida Institute of Technology13
235Miami U.13
235U. Alabama, Huntsville13
235U. Memphis13
239Meharry Medical C.12
239Mercer U.12
239Morehouse School of Medicine12
239Morgan State U.12
239San Francisco State U.12
239Wesleyan U.12
245Eastern Virginia Medical School11
245Florida Atlantic U.11
245Oakland U.11
245South Dakota School of Mines and Technology11
245U. Denver11
245U. Massachusetts, Boston11
251East Tennessee State U.10
251U. Missouri, Kansas City10
253Boise State U.9
253CUNY, Queens C.9
253Illinois State U.9
253Rochester Institute of Technology9
253SUNY, Downstate Medical Center9
253Texas A&M U.-Commerce9
253U. Dayton9
253U. South Dakota9
253U. Tulsa9
253Villanova U.9
263Central Michigan U.8
263Rowan U.8
263SUNY, C. of Optometry8
263U. Louisiana, Lafayette8
263U. Missouri, Saint Louis8
263Western Michigan U.8
269Chapman U.7
269CUNY, C. Staten Island7
269Duquesne U.7
269U. Alaska, Anchorage7
269U. San Diego7
274Fisk U.6
274Fordham U.6
274Midwestern U.6
274U. Nebraska, Omaha6
274U. of the Sciences Philadelphia6
279Albany C. of Pharmacy and Health Sciences5
279Arkansas State U.5
279Clark Atlanta U.5
279Hampton U.5
279Idaho State U.5
279New School5
279Seton Hall U.5
279Texas Christian U.5
279Trinity C., Hartford5
279U. New Orleans5
289American U.4
289C. Charleston4
289Prairie View A&M U.4
289Smith C.4
289Trinity U.4
289Tuskegee U.4
289U. Arkansas, Little Rock4
289U. Maryland, Eastern Shore4
289U. New England4
298Cleveland State U.3
298James Madison U.3
298Kennesaw State U. b3
298Marshall U.3
298Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences3
298St. John's U., Queens3
298U. Hawaii, Hilo3
298U. Puerto Rico, Mayaguez3
306A. T. Still U.2
306Alabama A&M U.2
306Clark U.2
306Connecticut C.2
306Furman U.2
306Hofstra U.2
306Indiana State U.2
306Lamar U.2
306Loyola Marymount U.2
306Mount Holyoke C.2
306Santa Clara U.2
306U. Guam2
306U. of the Virgin Islands2
319California State U., Long Beach1
319Cedars-Sinai Medical Center1
319Charles R. Drew U. of Medicine and Science1
319CUNY, John Jay C. of Criminal Justice1
319Des Moines U., Osteopathic Medical Center1
319Keck Graduate Institute1
319Montana Tech of U. Montana1
319Murray State U.1
319New England C. of Optometry1
319New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology1
319Oklahoma State U., Center for Health Sciences1
319Sam Houston State U.1
319Savannah State U.1
319Swarthmore C.1
319Texas Southern U.1
319Toyota Technological Institute, Chicago1
319U. Arkansas, Pine Bluff1
319U. Detroit Mercy1
319U. Massachusetts, Dartmouth1
319U. North Carolina, Wilmington1
319U. of the Incarnate Word1
319U. San Francisco1
319Valparaiso U.1
319Vassar C.1
319Williams C.1
319Wright State U.1

International postdocs in Science field by state (2015)

  • Rank
  • 1st
  • 2nd
  • 3rd
  • U.S. Institution
  • California
  • New York
  • Massachusetts

International postdocs in Engineering field by state (2015)

  • Rank
  • 1st
  • 2nd
  • 3rd
  • U.S. Institution
  • California
  • Massachusetts
  • Texas

SOURCE: National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering.

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