Students in STEM Fields by Gender and Race/Ethnicity

Twenty-three percent of beginning postsecondary students in 1995–96 entered a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) field. Forty-one percent of these students — or 9% of all entering students — earned a STEM credential by 2001. Twenty-seven percent of these students — or 6% of all entering students — earned a STEM bachelor’s degree by 2001.

Figure 2.9a: Percentage of 1995–96 Beginning Postsecondary Students Who Studied and Earned Degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) Programs, by Gender and Race/Ethnicity

Figure 2.9a: Students in STEM Fields by Gender and Race/Ethnicity

Notes & Sources 

Sources: National Center for Education Statistics, 1996 and 2001; calculations by the authors.

  • Male students are about twice as likely as female students to enter STEM fields; among both men and women, about 40% of those who enter these fields complete a credential and about a quarter earn a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field.
  • About twice as many Asian as white, black, or Hispanic students enter STEM fields. Completion rates are lowest for black and Hispanic students, with only 16% of those in each of these groups who enter STEM fields earning bachelor’s degrees in these fields, compared to about 30% of the Asian and white students who enter these fields.