Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More Women Earn PhDs Than Men, And Other Statistics.

The Council of Graduate Schools just released their 2009 Enrollment and Degrees report.  I think the thing I found most fascinating is that women earn more doctoral degrees than men!  (This is especially interesting being a graduate in physics where the question keeps being asked in the most politically correct way as possible: "where are all the girls?")

Here are several plots to consider:

As this plot shows women earn more PhDs than men. (And if it isn't clear, click on the above link and read the report in detail.)  Furthermore, this trend seems to hold across most fields.... except the physical sciences/math/CS/engineering fields which does not at all surprise me.

For the curious, the above plot shows how enrollment breaks down by ethnicity and gender.  For some reason the only group to be predominately men is "temporary residents".

The above plot here shows the percentages of doctoral degrees awarded by field.  It looks like engineering and education takes the cake.

Now I will move on to acceptance rates.  For those interested, here are how acceptance rates break down across fields and degree types:

And lastly, the below plot shows how the popularity of fields have been changing recently.  It seems like  a lot more people want to go into health sciences and public administration than just a year ago. (Ouch math and computer science!)



  1. Hey Joe,

    I guess I must be reading your first graph wrong. While it is true that women earn the majority of PhDs in 6 of the 11 broad areas listed in the graph, the "total" still gives the balance as 50%/50%. This does not seem to indicate that "women earn more PhDs than men." Am I missing something here?

    Your second graph is very interesting. It's interesting that we apparently have so many "temporary residents" in graduate school. What, specifically, does this term mean? Would a student from China who plans to return after graduate school count as a "temporary resident" or as an "Asian / Pacific Islander"? If the first, then this statistic is not all that surprising. Many graduate programs pride themselves in how many students they attract from overseas. I guess what this really means is that I need to follow the link and read the full report.

    As always, great post.

  2. Thanks Bill. Yes, it is hard to tell from the graph since the percentages are rounded to the nearest integer. While it says 50/50, technically the women have a slight majority. Or as the summery of the link I cite says: "Additionally, for the first time ever, women earned the majority of doctorates in 2008-09.".

    I believe temporary resident is your first example.


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