More Women than Men Earn U.S. Doctoral Degrees

Woman graduating wearing cap and gown over money texture
Decades of gains in higher education have led to woman earning a majority of U.S. doctoral degrees for the first time, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Women received just over half of all doctorates in the 2008-2009 school year, according to a report released Monday by the Washington-based Council of Graduate Schools, which represents more than 500 universities. Not included in the report were professional degrees in law, business and medicine.

Nathan Bell, the council's director of research and policy analysis told Bloomberg women have received the majority of bachelor's and master's degrees since the 1980s, making them the majority group of doctoral candidates.

The majority of doctoral degrees in engineering, math and computer sciences still go to men (78 percent of engineering doctorates and 73 percent of math and computer sciences doctorates), helping to explain the lingering income gap in these fields.

"More women are earning doctorates, but it isn't in the fields that earn the highest salaries," Bell told Bloomberg.

Women still only account for 41 percent of full-time college faculty, and only 27 percent of senior professors, according to the American Association of University Professors. On average, female faculty members earn only 80 percent of men's pay.