While more women apply to colleges in America these days than do men, including at the highly selective colleges, this isn’t the case for engineering programs within these schools. Engineering, of course, is a field long dominated by men. And so we’re sometimes asked if it helps to be a woman when applying to a school as an engineering student? The answer is that it sure does. Of course it does. You always want to be different. It’s a common theme we stress here on our college admissions blog.
But while there are more men than women at engineering programs from sea to shining sea across America, we’d like to point out one university where this isn’t the case. We’ve pointed it out before but we think it’s so exceptional that it’s worth repeating. As reported by “The Concord Monitor” (because who doesn’t read this news publication?), “In a first for Dartmouth College and perhaps a first for any major research university, more than half of seniors receiving engineering BA degrees in Hanover this year were women, marking a symbolic moment in ongoing efforts to better balance the genders of students in technical fields. The accomplishment is eye-opening, since only one-fifth of all engineering undergraduate degrees in the U.S. are awarded to women, but it may not be easy to translate to other schools because Dartmouth does not break down engineering into majors such as civil engineering or chemical engineering, as is done by almost all colleges.”
Dartmouth College has set the example for universities across America. The College on the Hill is leading the charge for gender parity in engineering.
It is our hope that more and more schools across America will follow the example of Dartmouth College by balancing out the number of men and women in engineering programs. While a 50-50 balance at most institutions may not be realistic in the next few years, we hope that each school will take small steps toward fostering gender parity in this field.
Have a question about women in engineering? We’re curious to hear from our readers so post a Comment below and we’ll be sure to write back.