Number of Women Earning Doctorates Declined Slightly in 2010

Preliminary data from the National Science Foundation shows that in 2010, 22,505 doctorates were awarded at U.S. universities to women. Men earned 25,564 doctorates at U.S. universities. Therefore, women earned 46.8 percent of all doctorates awarded by U.S. universities. These doctoral award figures include foreign recipients, a group which tends to have a high concentration of males.

The number of women earning doctorates is down from 23,186 in 2009. This is a decrease of about 3 percent.

Part of the decline may be the result of a reclassification of earned doctorates in the field of education. In 2010, educational doctorate programs at 77 universities were reclassified from research doctorates to professional doctorates. Beginning with 2010, the National Science Foundation’s Survey of Earned Doctorates will not include doctorates from the reclassified Ed.D. programs. In past years, women have made up a large segment of educational doctorate recipients. So, undoubtedly, the reclassification contributed to the decrease in women doctorates in this year’s survey.

But not all the drop can be attributed to the reclassification of some educational doctorate programs. In 2010, there was a slight drop in the number of women earning doctorates in science and engineering fields.

Filed Under: Degree AttainmentsNews


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