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UC San Diego Tops List for Highest Number of Women Graduates in STEM

Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

A recent study by BestColleges.com analyzing which colleges enroll and graduate women with majors in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) found that the University of California San Diego tops the list with one in three women graduating with a STEM degree. UC San Diego’s proportion of STEM graduates is three times the national average.

The site lists the top 20 schools—out of the 100 largest colleges—that had the highest proportion of female STEM majors in 2013. Of the top five schools on the list, three are part of the University of California system.

“UC San Diego is an education and research powerhouse that recruits the most academically talented scholars who challenge conventional thinking and action,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “We foster an environment that is open and inclusive, where creativity and innovation prosper, where the frontiers of knowledge are pushed and where innovative solutions for global problems are developed.” 

The study from BestColleges.com, a website aimed at providing prospective students with information needed to make informed higher education decisions, also looked at whether STEM majors make more money upon graduation and if women in STEM earn more than non-STEM majors.

BestColleges.com used 2016 Payscale data to look at median earnings (for both starting salary and mid-career salary) by primary college major. For this analysis, the site considered a STEM major to be any degree in computer science, engineering, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, statistics or technology. The results confirm that STEM graduates earn higher salaries than their non-STEM counterparts. Straight out of college, STEM graduates earn about 35 percent more than their non-STEM peers. By mid-career, this gap grows to a difference of 47 percent.

The site used this data to evaluate how much being a STEM major benefits women financially. For example, female STEM majors are able to repay their college loans at a faster rate than non-STEM majors.

For more information on the BestColleges.com study, click here.