Female Enrollments and Degrees in U.S. Geoscience Programs Remain Steady in 2011

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Monday, May 21, 2012

In the 2010-2011 academic year, the level of female participation in U.S. geoscience degree programs remained generally steady. Female enrollments and degrees at the undergraduate level continues to trail those of the graduate level, except for the percentage of doctorates awarded to women. After a sharp decrease of 8 percentage points in 2010 of women earning a geoscience doctorate, the trend reversed, growing over 1 percentage point in 2011. An interesting note is that the gender ratio of doctorate degrees drops sharply immediately following recessions, but then recovers rapidly. Though no immediate apparent causal relationship is evident, this pattern seems to be emerging again.