The Gender Gaps in Graduate Degree Awards in Some Specific Disciplines Are Huge

A new report from the Council on Graduate Schools finds that in the 2019-20 academic year, graduate schools in the United States awarded more than 533,000 master’s degrees. Of these, 317,290 were awarded to women. Thus women were 60.1 percent of all master’s degree recipients. This was up from 58.3 percent the previous year.

Women earned more than 67,000 master’s degrees in the field of education. They were 77.8 percent of all individuals who were awarded master’s degrees in educational fields. Women made up nearly 81 percent of all master’s degree recipients in health science fields and more than 80 percent of all master’s degree recipients in public administration. Women also earned more than 63 percent of all master’s degrees in the social and behavioral sciences.

In contrast, women received only 27.8 percent of all master’s degrees in engineering fields. In mathematics and computer science, women received just 35 percent of master’s degrees awarded in the 2019-20 academic year. Women earned 42.4 percent of all master’s degrees in physical and earth sciences and 45.8 percent of all master’s degrees in business.

Similar gender gaps were recorded in doctoral degree awards in the same fields. Women earned more than two thirds of all doctorates in education, health sciences, and public administration. But women received 24.9 percent of engineering doctorates, 25.8 percent of all doctorates in mathematics and computer science, and 35 percent of doctorates in physical and earth sciences.

The full report, Graduate Enrollment and Degrees: 2010 to 2020, may be downloaded by clicking here.

Filed Under: Research/Study

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