Penn State’s social sciences top NSF Rankings

The social sciences at Penn State was ranked tenth out of over 900 institutions by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in their NSF Total Research Expenditure Rankings for Fiscal Year 2017.

The rankings are based on the total dollars in federal research and development expenditures of each university’s science programs. Each science discipline also was ranked independently. For individual social/behavioral science disciplines, Penn State was ranked second in expenditures for sociology and third for psychology.

As Vice President for Research Neil Sharkey noted, “Penn State’s social and behavioral scientists are leaders in their fields and  an integral part of Penn State’s research community.”

Susan McHale, director of Penn State’s Social Science Research Institute explained, “Our social and behavioral science is impacting the world. Human behavior and social relationships play a significant role in the world’s major challenges and thus are central to addressing their solutions.”

The NSF is an independent federal agency created to aid in the development of science. The rankings produced are based primarily on the Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey, which gathers information on research expenditures specific to the source and intended purpose of the funds.