How the University of Virginia is leading the nation in elevating women in STEM

Getting more women in STEM fields remains a challenge all over. In the United States, men earn nearly 80 percent of engineering and computer science bachelor’s degrees, even though more than half the country’s population is female. And while underrepresented minority women make up 16 percent of the population, they earn just three and five percent of bachelor’s degrees in engineering and computer science respectively.The gender gap in engineering and computer science has endured for decades. Earlier this year, the Chronicle of Higher Education highlighted the field’s efforts to address this longstanding problem, issuing its newest rankings for colleges and universities based on their representation of women in engineering and computer science, as reported in the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. The University of Virginia School of Engineering has emerged as a top choice for women seeking engineering and computer science degrees, ranking third among all U.S. public universities for its percentage of women earning undergraduate engineering degrees—and first among public schools that awarded at least 75 engineering diplomas. UVA also ranks among the top 10 for its percentage of women earning bachelor’s degrees in computer science (29.5 percent), exceeding the national average of 18 percent.

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