mothers and 64 percent of fathers receiving a bachelor’s degree or higher (Table 1-5 and Figure 1-3).

  • More mothers had some undergraduate education, but more fathers achieved postbaccalaureate degrees (Table 1-5).

  • The employment sector of the mothers of FEF was most likely to have been elementary/secondary school or for-profit business (18 and 15 percent, respectively). 24 percent of FEF reported “not applicable” for their mothers’ employment sector. Fathers of FEF were most likely to be working in a for-profit business (39 percent), be self-employed (18 percent), or working in the government sector (16 percent) (Table 1-6).


Level of Highest Degree

  • The majority of female engineering faculty held Ph.D.s (676, or 87 percent). Of the remaining 99 individuals, 70 held master’s degrees, 9 held bachelor’s degrees, 3 reported some other postsecondary degree, and 17 did not give information on their educational history (Table 2-1; Figure 2-1).

Field of Highest Degree

  • Of the FEF with Ph.D.s who identified a field, 97 percent were in engineering and sciences compared to only 3 percent of those in “other fields” (Table 2-2).

  • For all degree levels, 71 percent of the FEF held their highest degree in an engineering field (Figure 2-2).

Year of Highest Degree

  • 80 percent of the Ph.D.s reported were earned between 1980 and 1996. 43 percent of the degrees were earned in the 1980s and 37 percent in the 1990s (Table 2-3).

  • A higher proportion of Asians/Pacific Islanders and underrepresented minorities earned their highest degree in the 1990s (47 and 49 percent, respectively) than whites (35 percent) (Table 2-4; Figure 2-3).

Postsecondary Education

  • FEF in the study reported earning 771 bachelor’s degrees from 287 different institutions. 1Table 3-5 lists the top producing institutions, headed by the Massachusetts Institute of


Thirty-eight individuals reported earning two bachelor’s degrees.

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