Large differences exist between men and women, but lesser differences exist by race/ethnicity (with the exception of Asians), regarding intentions to major in science and engineering. In 2000, 29 to 35 percent of white, black, Hispanic, and American Indian freshmen and 42 percent of Asian freshmen intended S&E majors. (See appendix table 2-10.) Roughly equal percentages of whites, blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians intended to major in the physical and biological sciences, mathematics, and engineering. Black and Asian freshmen were more likely than members of other groups to plan majors in computer science, and Asian freshmen were more likely to plan majors in the biological sciences and engineering. Black, Hispanic, and American Indian freshmen were more likely than whites or Asians to plan majors in the social and behavioral sciences. Within each racial/ethnic group, women were less likely than men to intend to major in S&E overall; however, women were more likely than men to intend to major in the social and behavioral sciences and in the biological and agricultural sciences.
Students with disabilities are as likely as students without disabilities to choose S&E majors at 4-year institutions. Among undergraduates in the 1995/96 school year, roughly equal percentages of students with and without disabilities were majoring in science and engineering. (See appendix table 2-5; see appendix A for question wording.)