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Nationally Ranked for Graduates Who Earn PhDs

According to the National Science Foundation survey.

Serious About Science

Surveys conducted by the National Science Foundation* reveal that Purchase ranks in the top ten among public liberal arts colleges for the percentage of graduates who earn PhDs in their fields.

Purchase ranks…

  • #5 in Political Science
  • #7 in Biology and Biomedical Sciences
  • #8 in Psychology
  • #8 in Mathematics
  • #8 in Foreign Languages
  • #9 in Computer Sciences

“This ranking is a direct result of the structure of a Purchase college education,” says Assistant Professor of Psychology Rebecca Peretz-Lange.

“Because we are a liberal arts college and do not have many graduate students in the sciences, social sciences, or humanities, our undergraduates take on responsibilities that most students don’t experience until graduate school.”

The Senior Project Difference

Every student at Purchase, regardless of major or GPA, completes a senior project. In the sciences, students work one-on-one with a professor their entire senior year on devising an original research experiment or inquiry. They showcase their results in a professional style symposium on campus, and some even travel to regional and national conferences.

“Thanks to the senior project, every student gets a year of hands-on, graduate school-level research training in a faculty lab, adds Peretz-Lange.

“As a Psychology professor, my students collect data firsthand from hundreds of child participants around the country. Data collected by my students has, this year alone, been presented at Columbia, Stanford, Princeton, Yale, and NYU, among other places.”

In many cases, our undergraduates are among mostly graduate students and faculty.

“Five of my students travelled to Atlanta, GA last year to present their research at an academic conference. The senior project is a really remarkable experience for our students.” 

In April, Biology and Environmental Studies students presented research at the Northeast Natural History Conference in Burlington, VT.

“I felt empowered after giving an oral presentation to a room full of unfamiliar undergrads, grad students, and professors from all different areas of the NE region. This experience has only further encouraged me to continue a path in research,” says Mackenzie Sky ’23.

Read more about the conference and additional student impressions.

*The National Science Foundation Survey of Earned Doctorates for the past five years data are available, 2017–2021).