A Snapshot of Women Enrollments in Graduate Schools in the United States

A new report from the Council of Graduate Schools offers data on the enrollment of women in graduate programs in the United States in 2019, before the onset of the global pandemic.

The report shows that in 2019, there were 302,204 women students enrolled in graduate schools for the first time. They made up 59.3 percent of all first-time graduate students at U.S. universities. Women were 53.3 percent of all first-time enrollees in doctoral programs at universities with a very high level of research.

If we break down the data by broad academic field, we find that women made up 79.1 percent of all first-time graduate students in public administration and more than 78 percent of all first-time graduate students in the health sciences and education.

But women were only 28.8 percent of all first-time graduate students in engineering and 41.5 percent in the physical sciences. Women were 34.6 percent of all first-time graduate students in mathematics and computer science. These enrollment levels were all up slightly from a year earlier.

If we look at total enrollments in U.S. graduate schools, we find that in 2019, there were 1,052,785 women students, down from 1,081,528 a year earlier. They made up 58.5 percent of all enrollments in 2019, up from 57 percent in 2018. Women made up 60.5 percent of the enrollments in master’s degree programs and 52.9 percent of all those enrolled in doctoral programs.

In 2019, women made up less than 39 percent of all graduate student enrollments in engineering, mathematics and computer science, and physical sciences. Women were more than 75 percent of all graduate students in education, the health sciences, and public administration.

Of all women graduate students, 54.8 percent were enrolled on a full-time basis. For men, the figure was 59.3 percent. Only 35.9 percent of women enrolled in graduate programs in education were enrolled full-time.

The full report, Graduate Enrollment and Degrees, 2009 to 2019, may be downloaded by clicking here.

Filed Under: EnrollmentsGraduate SchoolsResearch/Study

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