After Four Years of Decline, the Number of Women Earning Research Doctorates Was Up 10 Percent in 2022

The National Science Foundation recently released its annual data on research doctoral degree recipients in the United States. Data for the annual Survey of Earned Doctorates shows that universities in the United States conferred 57,596 research doctorates in 2021, up 10.3 percent from the previous year. Of these, 27,069, or 47 percent, were earned by women. The percentage of all research doctorates earned by women increased slightly from 2021.

If we restrict the data to U.S. citizens and permanent residents of this country, we find that 18,508 women earned doctorates in 2022. This was 52.4 percent of all doctoral recipients among U.S. citizens and permanent residents. The number of U.S. women earning doctorates dropped for four straight year from 2017 to 2021. But in 2022, the number of U.S. women earning doctorates was up by nearly 10 percent

In 2022, there was a wide gender disparity in doctoral awards in specific disciplines. For example, women earned 88.3 percent of all doctorates in nursing science and education, 70.6 percent of all doctoral degrees awarded in education, and 74.8 percent of all doctorates in psychology.

In contrast, women earned only 32.7 percent of the doctorates in the physical sciences. In engineering, women earned 27.2 percent of the doctorates awarded in 2022 and in mathematics women earned just 22.7 of all doctorates awarded.

Filed Under: Degree AttainmentsResearch/Study

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