142 Women Enrolled in Grad School Per 100 Men, and Women Outnumber Men in 7 Out Of 11 Fields
The Council of Graduate Schools released its annual report today, here are links to the press release and full report. What has been getting the most attention from this year's report is the fact that women earned a majority of doctoral degrees in 2009 (50.4%) for the first time ever, see top chart above. By field of study, women earning doctoral degrees outnumbered men in six of the eleven graduate fields: Arts and Humanities, Biology, Education, Health Sciences, Public Administration and Social/Behavioral Studies. Men still outnumber women earning doctoral degrees in fields like Engineering (78.4%), Math and Computer Science (73.2%) and Physical Sciences (66.6%). See related stories today by the Washington Post and Inside Higher Ed.
The bottom chart below shows total graduate student enrollment in 2009 by gender and field for all graduate programs (Master's and Doctoral). By this measure, it's not even close; women enrolled in graduate programs at all levels far outnumber men. Women represent 58.9% of all graduate students in the U.S., meaning that there are now 142.3 women enrolled in graduate school for every 100 men. In certain fields like Education (75% female), Health Sciences (79% female) and Public Administration (74.4%), women outnumber men by a factor of 3-4 times. Overall, women enrolled in graduate school outnumber men in 7 out of the 11 graduate fields of study, all except for business (45.7% female), engineering (22.3% female), math and computer science (29% female) and physical sciences (37.3% female).
This is more evidence that men have become the second sex in higher education. And here's a prediction: The fact that men are underrepresented in graduate school enrollment overall (100 men for every 142 women), and underrepresented in 7 out of 11 graduate fields of study will get almost no media attention at all. Additionally, there will be no calls for government studies, or increased government funding to address the problem, and nobody will refer to this gender graduate school enrollment gap as a "crisis." But what will get media attention is the fact that women are underrepresented in four of the 11 fields of graduate study like engineering and computer science, which can likely be traced to some kind of overt or unexamined gender discrimination.