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Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering

Glossary and Key to acronyms


Early career doctorate holders

Persons who received their first doctoral degree within the past 10 years and are employed at academic institutions, federally funded research and development centers, and the National Institutes of Health Intramural Research Program.

High-Hispanic-enrollment institution

HHEs are public and private nonprofit academic institutions whose undergraduate, full-time equivalent student enrollment is at least 25% Hispanic. The list of HHEs used in this report is based on data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System Fall 2013 Enrollment Survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Historically black college or university

HBCUs are academic institutions on a list maintained by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges or Universities. The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, defines an HBCU as "...any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary [of Education] to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation." See


A minority is a racial or ethnic group that is a small percentage of the U.S. population. Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders, Asians, and persons reporting more than one race are minority groups.

Postdoctoral appointment

A postdoctoral appointment is a temporary position awarded in academia, industry, government, or a nonprofit organization primarily for gaining additional education and training in research.

Scientists and engineers

In this report, persons classified as scientists and engineers are residents of the United States who have a baccalaureate degree or higher and are either educated as or are working as a scientist or engineer. A baccalaureate or higher degree is a bachelor's, master's, doctoral, or professional degree.

Tribal college

Tribal colleges are fully accredited academic institutions on a list maintained by the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities. These institutions are included in the Tribal Colleges category in the basic classification scheme of the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. See

Underrepresented minority

This category comprises three racial or ethnic minority groups (blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians or Alaska Natives) whose representation in S&E education or employment is smaller than their representation in the U.S. population.

Key to acronyms

Federally funded research and development center
Historically black college or university
High-Hispanic-enrollment institution
National Institutes of Health Intramural Research Program
Science and engineering
Underrepresented minority