FIGURE 3.1 Student enrollment trends at Spelman College from 1977 to 2001. The chart compares total enrollments at the college, science majors, and chemistry majors.

The current enrollment (2001-2002) consists of 2,100 students from 41 states and 15 foreign countries. These students are served by 145 full-time faculty with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The average graduation rate for Spelman students is 78 percent in six years or less.1

In May 2001, 103 of the 434 graduates received the Bachelor of Science degree in an area of science or mathematics. Thirty-five percent of the 2001 class planned to attend graduate school immediately.

In 1971 only 10 percent of the student enrollment pursued majors in the sciences.2 This percentage increased by 1977 to approximately 36 percent and has remained relatively stable through 2001 (see Figure 3.1).

The average enrollment percentage in the sciences by discipline from 1977 to 2001 is shown in Figure 3.2. Relative to all science disciplines collectively, the average percent enrollment of biochemistry and chemistry majors from 1977 to 2001 was 12 percent. The average percent of science graduates by major is shown in Figure 3.3. The average percent of graduates for all science disciplines collectively from 1977 to 2001 was 25 percent; the average percent of biochemistry and chemistry graduates during the same period was 14 percent. Comparison of the data in Figure 3.3 with the data in Figure 3.2 reflects a positive trend for graduates in the sciences.


Office of Institutional Research and Assessment Planning, Spelman College.


Falconer, E.Z. 1989. A Story of Success: The Sciences at the Science Department at Spelman College. Sage, 6(2):36–39.

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