Gender Differences in the Age of Doctoral Degree Recipients in the United States

The National Science Foundation recently released its annual data on doctoral degree recipients in the United States. Data for the annual Survey of Earned Doctorates shows that there are gender differences in the age of doctoral degree recipients and the time it took students to complete their doctoral studies.

On average, women who earned doctorates were 31.9 years old when they received their doctoral degrees. For men, the average age was 31.3. But when we break the figures down by age group, we see more pronounced differences. Men were far more likely than women to earn a doctorate before the age of 30. But women were more likely to earn a doctorate at an older age. For example, 14.8 percent of all women who earned doctorates in 2019 were over the age of 40. For men earning doctorates in 2019, only 9.8 percent were over the age of 40.

On average, women took 9.2 years to complete their doctorate from the time they enrolled in graduate school. For men the average was 8.3 years. For women earning doctorates in education, the average number of years it took to earn a doctorate after beginning graduate school was more than 15 years.

Filed Under: Degree AttainmentsResearch/Study

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