Field of degree: Women, men, and racial and ethnic groups



In 2012, underrepresented minority women earned more than half of the science and engineering (S&E) degrees awarded to their respective racial and ethnic groups. White and Asian women earned nearly half of the S&E degrees awarded to their respective racial and ethnic groups. In most S&E fields of study, the share of bachelor's degrees earned by underrepresented minority women is larger than their shares of master's or doctoral degrees.

Thumbnail of chart showing Science and engineering degrees earned by underrepresented minority women and men 1993-2012. Thumbnail of chart showing Science and engineering degrees earned by white women and men 1993-2012. Thumbnail of chart showing Science and engineering degrees earned by Asian women and men 1993-2012. Thumbnail of chart showing Science and engineering bachelors degrees earned by underrepresented minority women, by field 1993-2012. Thumbnail of chart showing Science and engineering bachelors degrees earned by Asian women, by field: 1993-2012.

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Science and engineering degrees earned by underrepresented minority women and men: 1993–2012
NOTE: Data not available for 1999.

Differences between women and men

Underrepresented minorities

Underrepresented minority women earn a higher share of S&E degrees than do underrepresented minority men at all degree levels, especially at the bachelor's level. In the past 20 years, the proportion of women nearly doubled at the bachelor's degree level and more than doubled at the master's and doctoral degree levels. The proportion of underrepresented minority women earning S&E degrees grew faster in the 1990s than in the past decade.

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Science and engineering degrees earned by white women and men: 1993–2012
NOTE: Data not available for 1999.

Differences between women and men

Whites

In contrast to underrepresented minorities, among whites, women earn a lower proportion of S&E degrees than do men at all degree levels. The gap is largest at the doctoral level. In 2012, white women earned 19% and white men earned 24% of all S&E doctorates.

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Science and engineering degrees earned by Asian women and men: 1993–2012
NOTE: Data not available for 1999.

Differences between women and men

Asians

Among Asians, women and men earn similar proportions of S&E degrees. At the doctoral level, the proportion of S&E degrees earned by Asian women has more than doubled since 1993, reaching the same level as the proportion earned by Asian men in 2012.

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Science and engineering bachelor’s degrees earned by underrepresented minority women, by field: 1993–2012
NOTE: Data not available for 1999.

Bachelor's degrees

Underrepresented minority women

Underrepresented minority women earn higher proportions of bachelor's degrees in psychology and social sciences than in any other S&E field. The proportion of bachelor's degrees they earn in psychology and social sciences has increased rapidly since 1993; there has been more modest growth in the proportion of bachelor's degrees earned in biological sciences and physical sciences. The proportion of bachelor's degrees this group earns in mathematics and engineering has remained fairly stable, and in the case of computer sciences, the proportion has declined.

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Science and engineering bachelor's degrees earned by Asian women, by field: 1993–2012
NOTE: Data not available for 1999.

Bachelor's degrees

Asian Women

Compared with Asian men, Asian women are more likely to earn bachelor's degrees in biological sciences and less likely to earn bachelor's degrees in computer sciences and engineering. Since 1993, the share of degrees awarded to Asian women has approximately doubled in biological, physical, and social sciences. In computer sciences, their share of degrees was lower in 2012 than it was in 1993.

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