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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

Demographic characteristics

Women
Minorities
Students with disabilities

Differences in age, parental education, marital status, and presence of dependents may potentially explain differences in amount and type of financial assistance needed (U.S. ED/NCES 2000), decision to enroll full or part time, decision to pursue a master's or doctoral degree, persistence and completion of graduate school, and later careers. Among those who earned doctorates in S&E,[6] variations in most of these demographic characteristics are not large between men and women or between students with and without disabilities. Variations are large, however, among racial/ethnic groups.

Women  top of page

The demographic characteristics of male and female S&E doctorate recipients in 1999 were similar in many respects. The median age at time of doctorate receipt was the same for men and women—31.4 years old—and approximately half of both men and women were between the ages of 29 and 36 when they received their doctorate. (See appendix table 5-24.) Parents' educational backgrounds were also similar—approximately 25 percent of the mothers and 41 percent of the fathers of both male and female S&E doctorate recipients had completed a master's or higher degree. (See appendix table 5-25.) Although little difference existed between men and women in terms of marital status, women were less likely than men to have dependents while in graduate school. At the time of doctoral degree receipt, approximately one-third of both men and women had never been married, while 68 percent of women and 55 percent of men reported having no dependents. (See appendix table 5-26.)

Minorities  top of page

Among 1999 S&E doctorate recipients, racial/ethnic groups differed greatly in demographic characteristics such as age, educational background of parents, marital status, and presence of dependents. American Indians, blacks, and "other" Hispanics were older, on average, than other racial/ethnic groups at the time of doctorate receipt. The median age at doctorate award was 34 for American Indians, and 33 for both blacks and "other" Hispanics, compared to 31 for whites and persons of Puerto Rican descent, and 32 for Asians and persons of Mexican descent. (See appendix table 5-24.)

Parents' educational backgrounds varied by race/ethnicity in 1999. In general, the parents of white doctorate recipients had completed more education than their racial/ethnic counterparts. Nonwhite doctorate recipients were more likely than their white counterparts to be the first in their family to go to college. The fathers of 43 percent of white doctorate recipients had completed a master's or higher degree, compared with 25 percent of American Indians and persons of Mexican descent, 25 percent of blacks, 32 percent of persons of Puerto Rican descent, 33 percent of "other" Hispanics, and 35 percent of Asians. Conversely, the fathers of 5 percent of white doctorate recipients had less than a high school education, compared with between 12 and 30 percent for other racial/ethnic groups. (See appendix table 5-25.)

Marital status of S&E doctorate recipients in 1999 also differed by race/ethnicity. Blacks were less likely and Asians more likely than other groups to be married. Whites were the least likely, and American Indians the most likely, to have dependents—only 38 percent of whites had dependents, compared with 55 percent of American Indians and from 44 to 48 percent of Asians, blacks, and Hispanics. (See appendix table 5-26.)

Students with disabilities  top of page

Except for age, the demographic characteristics of S&E doctorate recipients with and without disabilities were similar in 1999. Little difference existed between students with and without disabilities in terms of marital status or presence of dependents. At the time of doctorate receipt, approximately one-third of students both with and without disabilities were single, and 60 percent of both groups reported having no dependents. (See appendix table 5-26.) Parents' educational backgrounds were also similar—39 percent of the fathers of doctorate recipients with disabilities and 41 percent of the fathers of doctorate recipients without disabilities had completed a master's or higher degree. (See appendix table 5-25.)

Students with disabilities are older at the time of doctorate award than students without. In 1999, the median age at doctorate for students with disabilities was 37, compared to 31 for students without disabilities. Approximately half of students with disabilities were between the ages of 31 and 45 when they received their doctorate. (See appendix table 5-24.)




Footnotes

[6]  Data in this section refer to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only.

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