In STEM Fields, Women and Men Now Progress to the Ph.D. at the Same Rate

graduationA new study by researchers at Duke University and Northwestern University finds that women who graduate with bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields are now just as likely as men to progress to a doctoral degree as men. And now women and men take about the same amount to time to earn doctorates in STEM fields.

The study found that 4 percent of men in the 1970s who earned bachelor’s degree in STEM fields went on to earn Ph.D.s within the next 10 years, compared to less than 3 percent of women. But for men and women who graduated from college in the 1990s with bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields, an equal percentage had earned Ph.D.s within 10 years. The actual number of women earning Ph.D.s in these disciplines remains far below the number of men, but for those who earn bachelor’s degrees in these fields, men and women now appear to earn doctorates at the same rate.

David Miller, a psychologist at Northwestern University and co-author of the study, says that “the bachelor’s-to-Ph.D. pipeline no longer leaks more women than men, although it did in the past.”

The article, “The Bachelor’s to Ph.D. STEM Pipeline No Longer Leaks More Women Than Men: A 30-Year Analysis,” was published on the website of the journal Frontiers in Psychology. It may be downloaded here.

Filed Under: Degree AttainmentsResearch/Study


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