Male students may outnumber female students in most STEM fields, but recently, many colleges have sought to balance that picture by getting more female students into STEM programs. Whether allowing engineering majors to minor in literature or awarding scholarships to high schoolers who participated in the Girls Who Code club, schools are taking creative strides to tap into the talents of a demographic that makes up more than half of the country’s student population.
Emsi worked with The Wall Street Journal to analyze the most recent IPEDS data and review the current state of STEM grads. For bachelor’s degree and above, female recipients increased at nine of the 10 largest such programs between 2012 and 2016. In fact, six of those STEM programs now award at least a third of those degrees to women.
These postsecondary institutions’ work is apparently paying off. The data evidences steady change at many top colleges and universities, as the WSJ graphic below clearly illustrates.
But which colleges graduate the highest share of female STEM grads? Emory University topped the list in 2015-2016 with women comprising 59% of bachelor’s-and-above STEM grads. College of Charleston, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Nova Southeastern University, and Tulane University had the next-highest concentrations of females—all over 50%.
Emory has been No. 1 in share of female STEM graduates four of the past five academic years.* Georgetown University and Loyola University of Chicago have also had a constant presence at the top of the rankings in recent years.
*Among institutions with at least 500 total STEM completions each year.
|Schools||2015-16 Female Share of STEM Grads||Female Total||Total|
|College of Charleston||54.8%||293||535|
|University of North Carolina Wilmington||53.2%||336||632|
|Nova Southeastern University||50.8%||308||606|
|Tulane University of Louisiana||50.2%||367||731|
|Loyola University Chicago||48.7%||344||706|
|University of Georgia||47.9%||808||1,686|
|International Technological University||47.7%||271||568|
|California State University-East Bay||47.4%||272||574|
|University of Vermont||47.2%||351||744|
|College of William and Mary||46.9%||251||535|
|Missouri State University-Springfield||46.5%||246||529|
|Northern Arizona University||46.2%||446||965|
Here are a few additional observations:
- Engineering – Few schools were able to achieve more than 30% for female completers in engineering in each of the last five years. BYU-Provo actually declined to 8.9% in 2015-2016, the most recent year of data. Dartmouth (41%), Cornell (37%), Tufts (37%), Yale (37%), Bucknell (36%), and Brown (36%) had the highest percentage of female engineering grads. In total, Georgia Tech (920) and North Carolina State (711) had the most female grads in 2015-2016.
- Computer Science – These vary drastically. For instance, 89% of Grand Canyon University’s CS grads were female during the 2015-2016 academic year. And the number of institutions that awarded 100 or more computer science degrees nearly quadrupled from the 2011-2012 to the 2015-2016 school year—from 17 to 64 institutions in a mere four years. However, many institutions had a 30% or lower share of female grads in CS. Overall, University of Maryland University College (757), University of Texas (483), and Carnegie Mellon (412) had the top number of female CS grads in 2015-2016.
- Biological Sciences – Generally, graduates of biological science programs are well over 50% female. BYU was the only college below 30% female among institutions that awarded at least 100 degrees in 2015-2016.
Read more about this analysis in a related article that WSJ simultaneously published. If you have any questions about this data or want to analyze other sectors, please let us know. Contact Rob Sentz at email@example.com. Follow us @desktopecon.