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Youth Indicators, 2005: Trends in the Well-Being of American Youth

Indicator 25: Degrees Conferred

Figure 25. Percentage of bachelor’s, master’s, first-professional, and doctoral degrees awarded to females: Various years, 1959–60 to 2001–02

Percentage of bachelor’s, master’s, first-professional, and doctoral degrees awarded to females: Various years, 1959–60 to 2001–02
1For the year 1959-60, data for bachelor's degrees includes first-professional degrees.
2Includes Ph.D., Ed.D., and comparable degrees at the doctoral level. Excludes first-professional degrees, such as M.D., D.D.S., and law degrees.
3First-professional degrees are degrees which require at least 6 years of college work for completion (including at least 2 years of preprofessional training), such as M.D., D.D.S., and law degrees.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, 2003, based on Higher Education General Information Survey (HEGIS), 'Degrees and Other Formal Awards Conferred' surveys, 1959-60 through 1985-86; and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), 'Completions' surveys, 1986-87 through 1998-99, and Fall 2000 through Fall 2002 surveys.

The percentage of college degrees awarded to females has been increasing for many decades. In 1959-60, females received 35 percent of all bachelor's (and first-professional) degrees and 32 percent of all master's degrees. By 2001-02, about 57 percent of bachelor's and 59 percent of master's degrees were awarded to females. During that same time, the percentage of doctoral degrees awarded to females increased from 10 percent in 1959-60 to 46 percent in 2001- 02. In addition, the percentage of first-professional degrees awarded to females climbed from 4 percent in 1964-65 to 47 percent in 2001-02.


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