Women and Minorities in Engineering


Despite progress since 1982, we still have a long way to go!

The two graphs below show the total number of bachelor degrees in engineering and the physical sciences since 1982, as well as degrees earned by women, African Americans, Hispanics. Note that women make up less than 21% of engineering BS graduates compared to 37% in the physical sciences. Also, the percentage of degrees earned by African Americans and Hispanics is significantly less than their percentages of the general population. Finally, although the number of degrees granted to women and underrepresented minorities are increasing, the total number of engineering degrees remains roughly constant over the past 10 years.

Also, Did You Know That ...?

  • Black full-time first-time undergraduate engineering enrollment dropped 16% from 1992-1996?
  • Hispanics and African Americans combined account for less than 5% of the engineering workforce[2].

FC Resources
Whether you're just getting started or looking for some additional ideas, the Foundation Coalition would like to help you increase the diversity of your engineering student body - through workshops, web sites, lesson plans, and reading materials. FC partner institutions have produced both written and electronic materials that address the issue of women and minorities in engineering education. Visit our web site at http://www.foundationcoalition.org/home/keycomponents/wmie/ for online access to contact information and materials, or contact: Jeffrey Froyd or 979-845-7574.

Other organizations that can provide assistance include:
American Indian Science & Engineering Society
National Society of Black Engineers
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
Society of Women Engineers
Women in Engineering Program Advocates Network


  1. Engineering and Technology Degrees 2000, Engineering Workforce Commission, American Association of Engineering Societies
  2. Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities, Sept 2000, National Science Foundation Publication NSF00327
  3. Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, 3005 Moore Hall, Box 951521, Los Angeles, CA 9009
  4. Johnson, D. W. and R. T. Johnson., "Cooperative Learning and the Achievement and Socialization Crisis in Science and Math Classroom," in A.B. Champagne, and L.E. Hornig, eds.,1987, Students and Science Learning, Washington, DC: AAAS
  5. Petterson, P.L., and E. Fennema, "Effective teaching: Student Engagement in Classroom Activities and Sex-related Differences in Learning Mathematics," 1985, American Education Research Journal, 11:309-335
  6. Seymour, E. and N. Hewitt, Talking About Leaving, 1997, Westview Press, Boulder CO
  7. Karr, C. and Todd, B., "Perceived Gender Inequities in Freshman Engineering Design Projects, Foundation Coalition, University of Alabama
  8. Hsi, S., Linn, M., and Bell, J., "The Role of Spatial Reasoning in Engineering and the Design of Spatial Instruction," Journal