Science and Engineering Doctorates for Women ‘Increasing Rapidly’

By David Nagel, January 29, 2014 

Over the last 10 years, the number of doctorates in physical sciences and engineering awarded to women by American universities has grown by nearly two-thirds. However, according to the latest data available, women still account for only 30 percent of doctorates in physical sciences and engineering.

Women in STEM
According the latest report released by the National Science Foundation, in 2012, American women (citizens and permanent residents) earned a majority of doctorates awarded in life sciences, social sciences, education and humanities in the United States and nearly half of the doctorates awarded in disciplines other than physical sciences or engineering.

“Women are becoming increasingly prevalent with each new cohort of doctorate recipients, earning a majority of all doctorates awarded to U.S. citizens and permanent residents each year since 2002 and earning one-third of all doctorates awarded to temporary visa holders over that period,” according to the report. “In 2012, women earned 46 percent of all doctorates.”

Taking into account all sciences (beyond physical sciences), women earned 43 percent of all science and engineering doctorates awarded in 2012 — a 13-point increase from 1992.

But physical sciences and engineering, while still far behind other disciplines, are nevertheless the fastest-growing sub-fields for women, and NSF characterized the growth in doctorates awarded to women in those disciplines as “increasing rapidly.” Since 2002, the number of doctorates in physical sciences awarded to women has grown 60 percent, and the number of doctorates in engineering has grown even more — 66 percent.

Read the full article at Campus Technology.