A look into physics programs at liberal arts institutions: Part 2

As I previously shared here, the announced changes to a physics program in a Christian liberal arts institution have inspired me to look more closely into different metrics of physics programs. In my first post, I shared metrics of Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) schools, focusing on number of bachelor's degrees in physics granted in 2015-2017 compared to full time equivalent (FTE) numbers. The goal was to provide concrete information about how many students graduate from CCCU institutions with bachelor’s degrees in physics, in terms of both absolute number of graduates and as proportion of broader educational activity at the institutions.

In this post, I will expand the analysis to include more groups of institutions, as well as consider several financial metrics. My goal is to understand the numbers of physics majors graduating from programs from a broader scope of institutions and in the context of financial viability of them. I again use the AIP and IPEDS data referenced in the first post.

A look into physics programs at liberal arts institutions: Part 1

Understanding the challenges of supporting physics programs in modern CCCU institutions, I’m beginning a series to investigate objective measures of success and expenses of these programs. When we explore the question “what do graduates of physics programs in liberal arts degrees do after graduation?”, and reflect on characteristics of physics programs truly steeped in the liberal arts, as opposed to ones focused on applications of physics, we can broaden public understanding about  the distinctions among and benefits of these programs.