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women and minorities
Introduction Chapter 1: Precollege Education Chapter 2: Undergraduate Enrollment Chapter 3: Undergraduate Degrees Chapter 4: Graduate Enrollment Chapter 5: Graduate Degrees Chapter 6: Employment Technical Notes Appendix Tables
Chapter Contents:
Overview
Master's degrees
Doctorates
Sources of financial support
Demographic characteristics
Satisfaction with field of doctoral program
Postgraduation plans and postdoctoral fellowships
References
 
Sidebars
Appendix Tables
List of Figures
Presentation Slides

Graduate Degrees

Sources of financial support

Women
Minorities
Students with disabilities

Women  top of page

Among 1995–99 U.S. citizen and permanent resident S&E doctorate recipients, women were more likely than men to rely primarily on personal sources of financial support for their graduate education: 30 percent of women, compared to 21 percent of men, relied primarily on personal sources. This disparity stems in large part from the fact, noted in the previous chapter, that female S&E graduate students are more likely than male to major in psychology, and psychology doctorate recipients are far more likely than those in other fields to rely on personal sources of support. Half of the 1995–99 female psychology doctorate recipients relied primarily on personal sources of support, compared with 20 percent of women receiving doctorates in other S&E fields. Among psychology doctorate recipients, similar percentages of men and women relied on personal sources of financial support.

Female S&E doctorate recipients were less likely than their male counterparts to rely primarily on research assistantships: 24 percent of women, but 33 percent of men, relied primarily on research assistantships for their support. Again, these differences are related to doctoral field. Female S&E doctorate recipients are less likely than male to have majored in engineering; the physical sciences; the earth, atmospheric, and ocean sciences; and the agricultural sciences—all fields in which a large proportion of doctorate recipients are supported primarily by research assistantships. Within these fields, the percentages of men and women supported primarily by research assistantships are more similar. The one exception in this regard is computer science, where the percentage of women supported by research assistantships is much lower than that for men: 20 percent versus 34 percent. (See appendix table 5-21.)

Minorities  top of page

Among 1995–99 U.S. citizen and permanent resident S&E doctorate recipients, a smaller percentage of Asians than of other racial/ethnic groups relied primarily on personal sources of support. On the other hand, larger percentages of Asians than of other groups received research assistantships and teaching assistantships. (See appendix table 5-22.) As with women, these differences are attributable at least in part to variations in field of doctorate. Asians are more likely than other racial/ethnic groups to receive doctorates in engineering and the physical sciences—as noted, fields in which reliance on research assistantships is prevalent. However, even within other major S&E fields, a higher percentage of Asians than of other groups rely primarily on research assistantships.[5]

Larger percentages of black, Hispanic, and American Indian S&E doctorate recipients rely on loans to finance their graduate education. As noted earlier, these groups are more likely to earn their doctorates in psychology and the social sciences, fields in which reliance on loans is prevalent. However, within many major S&E fields, larger shares of black, Hispanic, and American Indian 1995–99 doctorate recipients than of their white or Asian counterparts relied on loans. Also, within major S&E fields, larger shares of black, Hispanic, and American Indian S&E doctorate recipients than of whites or Asians relied primarily on fellowships; smaller shares relied on research assistantships.

Students with disabilities  top of page

Among 1995–99 U.S. citizen and permanent resident S&E doctorate recipients, a larger percentage of students with disabilities than of those without relied on loans and personal sources of income as their primary source of support in graduate school. A smaller percentage of students with disabilities than of those without relied primarily on research assistantships. (See appendix table 5-23.) These differences may be attributable to variations in field of doctorate, as is the case for women and minorities. They may also be attributable to differences in age between S&E doctorate recipients with and without disabilities. Because the numbers of students with disabilities receiving doctorates in S&E is so small, it is difficult to determine whether primary source of support differs by disability status within fields or age groups.



Footnotes

[5]  These differences may be due—at least in part—to variations in field as well as eligibility for various types of aid. For example, Asians who initially entered graduate school as students on temporary visas may not have been eligible for many Federal loan programs but would have been eligible for research assistantships.

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