TABLE 1-2 Intentions of Freshman to Major in Science and Engineering Fields, by Race, Ethnicity, and Sex, 2002

Race/Ethnicity

All S&E Majors (%)

Biological/ Agricultural Sciences (%)

White

 

 

 

Male

23.8

6.2

 

Female

37.9

7.6

Asian/Pacific Islander

 

 

 

Male

33.1

10.2

 

Female

53.0

13.5

African-American/Black

 

 

 

Male

31.9

5.8

 

Female

38.0

10.0

Chicano/Puerto Rican

 

 

 

Male

30.6

6.8

 

Female

39.4

9.2

Other Hispanic

 

 

 

Male

30.9

6.9

 

Female

40.8

8.3

American Indian/Alaska Native

 

 

 

Male

27.2

6.1

 

Female

37.6

8.8

SOURCE: Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, 2004, National Science Foundation.

From 1994 to 2001, there was an increase of 27 to 38% in the numbers of science and engineering bachelor’s degrees awarded to all minorities (Figure 1-14). During that period, however, there was a 10% decline in science and engineering bachelor’s degrees awarded to whites. Much of the increase among minorities was fueled by an increase in science and engineering degrees awarded to women. For example, in 2001, 64% or roughly 21,000 of science and engineering bachelor’s degrees earned by African Americans, and 55% or 15,000 of the science and engineering bachelor’s degrees earned by Hispanics were awarded to women.

There is a similar increase in science and engineering doctorates awarded to minority women in the same period, except for Asian Americans (Figure 1-15). Although there was an increase in absolute numbers, the representation of minority-group women as a percentage of all science and engineering doctorates in 2001 was less than 9%, and half of those degrees were to Asian American women. The decrease in Asian American women receiving science and engineering doctoral degrees was not seen in the biological sciences, where the numbers were the same in 1994 and 2001: 268 degrees.



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