The 20 colleges graduating the most women in STEM

Women earn a disproportionately smaller share of undergraduate degrees in STEM, and they also represent fewer than 25% of workers in STEM fields, according to data from the Department of Commerce.

Women make up nearly half of all workers, but only represent 25% of the jobs in mathematical sciences and just 13% of engineering jobs. And though women dominate a handful of STEM fields, they are underrepresented in fields like computer science and engineering. For instance, women earn 57% of all bachelor's degrees, but less than 20% of degrees in fields like computer science and physics—and the gap does not close once they enter the workforce.

But there are some colleges and universities that are taking steps to close the STEM degree gender gap. According to an analysis of Department of Education data by the Chronicle of Higher Education, these institutions are graduating the most women in computer science and engineering:

Computer science

4-year public institutions

1. Salisbury University*
2. University of Washington*
3. City University of New York Bernard M. Baruch College*
4. University of Washington at Bothell*
5. Pennsylvania State University at University Park*

4-year private institutions

1. Wellesley College*
2. New School*
3. Touro College
4. Creighton University*
5. DePauw University*

Learn more: 3 ways to get more women into STEM

Engineering

4-year public institutions

1. State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill*
3. University of Virginia*
4. University of Pittsburgh*
5. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor*

4-year private institutions

1. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology*
3. Harvey Mudd College
4. Tuskegee University*
5. Tulane University*

*Editor's note: EAB member institutions have been marked with an asterisk. EAB congratulates member institutions that made the list.

The Chronicle report notes that while the above institutions are taking strides in closing the STEM degree gender gap, just four colleges on the list had at least 50 bachelor's degree recipients in computer science and awarded more than half of those degrees to women in 2016-17. And only three colleges on the list had at least 50 bachelor's degree recipients in engineering and awarded more than half of those degrees to women during that same period.

So how can colleges continue to improve their share of female computer science and engineering graduates?

Harvey Mudd College, which ranked among the four-year private institutions with the most female engineering grads, has successfully increased its share of female computer science graduates from 10% to 40% by implementing a three-step program.

Spearheaded in 2006 by President Maria Klawe, the program involves revamping curricula to make content more engaging and accessible, bolstering the confidence of women and other underrepresented groups, and creating pathways between the college and STEM careers (Chronicle of Higher Education list, 2/24).

Read more about female students in STEM

5 ways to get more female students into STEM


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