By Nick Anderson September 16 at 11:33 AM 

PITTSBURGH — Women are making major gains in enrollment in engineering and computer science at some of the nation’s most prominent colleges and universities, a breakthrough that shows that gender parity is possible in technology fields long dominated by men.

More than half of engineering bachelor’s degrees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology went to women in 2015, federal data shows. The same was true at Dartmouth College this year. The majority of computer science majors at California’s Harvey Mudd College are women. Here at Carnegie Mellon University, women account for nearly half of first-year computer science students — 48 percent, a school record.

These and other examples underscore an evolution in fields vital to the nation’s economy. While men still far outnumber women nationally — 4 to 1 in engineering, 5 to 1 in computer science — female students are gaining ground slowly at many schools and rapidly at others. The shift gained attention last year when women fed up with gender stereotypes posted photographs of themselves on social media with a hashtag that went viral — #ilooklikeanengineer.

[#ilooklikeanengineer challenges your ideas about who works in tech]

The federal government and industry leaders acknowledge that more should be done to bring women into science, technology, engineering and math, known as the STEM fields, and they have pushed programs such as Girls Who Code to boost interest among girls at a young age. Educators caution that many female students continue to face obstacles, including biases from classmates, teachers and others who might cause them to doubt their potential.

“There is systematic exclusion,” said Maria Klawe, Harvey Mudd’s president. “It used to be very deliberate, very conscious. I think it’s now much less conscious.”

[These girls are the coders of the future, and they’re already solving problems]

Klawe, a computer scientist who is the college’s first female president, said that, for generations, talented women in STEM fields experienced “really annoying” snubs from men. But Klawe said she is seeing “significant progress” for female students at many schools, even as the gender gap remains wide across the country.

In 2015, about 20 percent of bachelor’s degrees in engineering and 16 percent of those in computer science went to women, according to federal data. Those shares were each up two percentage points compared with five years earlier. At that rate, it could take decades to reach parity.

But some schools are making gains faster than others. Women earned at least a third of the engineering degrees at 31 schools in 2015 when considering schools that award 20 or more degrees a year in the field. Women reached that threshold in computer science at 16 colleges and universities.

 

Women in engineering and computer science

The table below shows the number of bachelor’s degrees in engineering and in computer science awarded in 2014-2015 at colleges and universities, as well as the share of those degrees earned by women. The data was obtained from the federal Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. 

SCHOOL ENGINEERING DEGREES SHARE WOMEN EARNED COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREES SHARE WOMEN EARNED_2
Smith College 23 100% 15 100%
University of Massachusetts-Boston 1 100% 33 12%
Rutgers University-Newark 1 100% 30 10%
Oberlin College 9 56% 37 16%
Franklin W Olin College of Engineering 81 53% 0  
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 501 51% 290 32%
Yale University 89 49% 45 13%
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry 49 49% 0  
Howard University 71 45% 0  
California Lutheran University 11 45% 26 19%
Harvey Mudd College 55 42% 57 39%
George Washington University 106 42% 32 38%
Brown University 100 41% 109 25%
Southern Methodist University 187 41% 34 12%
Princeton University 327 39% 0  
Rice University 222 38% 56 34%
Dartmouth College 80 38% 53 34%
Tulane University of Louisiana 65 38% 12 25%
California Institute of Technology 80 38% 48 21%
Columbia University in the City of New York 349 37% 129 30%
Cornell University 666 37% 194 23%
Vanderbilt University 280 36% 43 16%
Loyola University Maryland 20 35% 7 29%
Bucknell University 147 35% 15 27%
University of Pennsylvania 286 35% 148 26%
Tufts University 156 34% 101 22%
University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez 500 34% 11 9%
Trinity University 30 33% 18 33%
Virginia State University 24 33% 12 33%
Carnegie Mellon University 473 33% 214 24%
University of Virginia-Main Campus 552 33% 124 21%
University of Rochester 210 33% 43 21%
Stanford University 324 33% 217 20%
University of Central Oklahoma 27 33% 28 14%
Northwestern University 374 33% 32 9%
North Carolina A & T State University 195 32% 33 30%
University of Notre Dame 290 32% 59 24%
Johns Hopkins University 343 32% 48 23%
Duke University 306 31% 126 17%
Southern Utah University 10 30% 24 29%
Boston University 304 30% 98 20%
Hope College 46 30% 9 11%
Winona State University 33 30% 47 9%
Tuskegee University 79 29% 6 50%
Harvard University 72 29% 98 37%
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University 28 29% 26 19%
Worcester Polytechnic Institute 689 29% 118 14%
Texas Christian University 41 29% 8 13%
Case Western Reserve University 285 29% 47 11%
Colorado School of Mines 800 29% 49 6%
Indiana Institute of Technology 52 29% 3 0%
Fordham University 17 29% 40 18%
Alabama A & M University 61 28% 27 44%
University of San Diego 67 28% 10 20%
Illinois Institute of Technology 276 28% 50 16%
Lehigh University 396 28% 60 15%
Villanova University 230 28% 25 12%
United States Coast Guard Academy 96 28% 0  
Lafayette College 144 27% 9 22%
Washington University in St Louis 309 27% 66 14%
University of Arizona 397 27% 153 13%
North Carolina State University at Raleigh 1353 27% 171 12%
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology 152 27% 18 6%
Caribbean University-Ponce 26 27% 0  
Prairie View A & M University 173 26% 12 33%
University of Southern California 477 26% 87 28%
Cleveland State University 149 26% 27 19%
Saint Louis University 127 26% 39 18%
Geneva College 35 26% 6 17%
George Mason University 189 26% 108 16%
Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus 1985 26% 288 14%
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 639 26% 101 13%
University of Denver 38 26% 24 13%
Messiah College 42 26% 17 12%
University of Mississippi 178 25% 30 17%
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor 1210 25% 344 15%
Humboldt State University 56 25% 14 14%
Syracuse University 303 25% 23 13%
Morgan State University 108 25% 9 11%
University of Miami 278 25% 43 9%
University of California-San Diego 881 24% 310 18%
University of Hawaii at Manoa 235 24% 62 18%
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology 227 24% 21 14%
Stevens Institute of Technology 330 24% 38 13%
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology 399 24% 47 11%
Virginia Commonwealth University 229 24% 66 11%
University of Florida 1134 24% 79 10%
University of Delaware 429 24% 63 10%
Drexel University 740 24% 66 9%
University of Dayton 277 24% 11 9%
University of Connecticut 473 24% 29 7%
University of Alabama at Birmingham 126 24% 29 7%
Santa Clara University 189 24% 0  
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art 102 24% 0  
Robert Morris University 76 24% 0  
Jackson State University 53 23% 10 40%
University of the Pacific 94 23% 25 28%
University of Colorado Boulder 626 23% 104 21%
Florida State University 342 23% 104 17%
St Mary's University 22 23% 7 14%
Miami University-Oxford 179 23% 33 12%
The College of New Jersey 102 23% 30 10%
Colorado State University-Fort Collins 375 23% 77 9%
Clemson University 740 23% 71 8%
University of Louisville 285 23% 0  
Colorado State University-Pueblo 31 23% 0  
University of Washington-Seattle Campus 774 22% 170 32%
University of California-Los Angeles 572 22% 141 22%
The University of Texas at El Paso 286 22% 51 20%
Texas A & M University-Kingsville 139 22% 5 20%
The University of Texas at Austin 1121 22% 376 15%
Kettering University 251 22% 24 13%
University of California-Irvine 662 22% 243 12%
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus 557 22% 99 11%
University of Alabama in Huntsville 336 22% 35 11%
Northeastern University 519 22% 96 10%
University of Arkansas 416 22% 51 10%
Christian Brothers University 45 22% 10 10%
University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus 447 22% 22 9%
University of Houston 326 22% 47 9%
Baylor University 110 22% 26 8%
University of Houston-Clear Lake 23 22% 29 7%
Marshall University 18 22% 21 0%
Catholic University of America 75 21% 3 33%
Loyola Marymount University 47 21% 15 33%
University of Nevada-Reno 306 21% 51 25%
University of New Orleans 108 21% 22 23%
McNeese State University 67 21% 14 21%
Hofstra University 63 21% 16 19%
Florida International University 456 21% 62 18%
University of California-Davis 766 21% 165 16%
University of Maryland-College Park 888 21% 289 15%
Oakland University 156 21% 34 15%
Universidad Politecnica de Puerto Rico 433 21% 7 14%
Ohio State University-Main Campus 1490 21% 53 13%
University of Tulsa 158 21% 18 11%
Purdue University-Main Campus 1629 21% 144 8%
John Brown University 28 21% 0  
Eastern Michigan University 5 20% 45 24%
Christopher Newport University 10 20% 59 14%
Southern University and A & M College 51 20% 11 36%
Tennessee State University 40 20% 14 36%
University of California-Berkeley 950 20% 329 23%
Rutgers University-New Brunswick 789 20% 159 17%
University of Kansas 362 20% 37 16%
University of Georgia 80 20% 86 16%
Lamar University 130 20% 20 15%
University of New Mexico-Main Campus 204 20% 23 13%
Seattle University 88 20% 24 13%
University of Wisconsin-Madison 872 20% 205 12%
University of South Carolina-Columbia 338 20% 43 12%
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo 1147 20% 91 11%
Texas A & M University-College Station 1427 20% 103 9%
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College 605 20% 51 8%
New Jersey Institute of Technology 530 20% 75 8%
University of California-Riverside 375 20% 77 8%
University of Maine 196 20% 15 7%
Grove City College 59 20% 19 5%
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott 137 20% 0  
University of Alaska Anchorage 72 19% 15 27%
New York University 264 19% 152 26%
New Mexico State University-Main Campus 278 19% 21 24%
University of Missouri-Columbia 465 19% 77 16%
Missouri University of Science and Technology 862 19% 72 14%
University of North Florida 106 19% 86 14%
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities 825 19% 208 12%
Midwestern State University 27 19% 17 12%
Michigan State University 526 19% 103 11%
University of Maryland-Baltimore County 180 19% 138 11%
The University of Alabama 463 19% 40 10%
Montana State University 388 19% 31 10%
Wayne State University 163 19% 52 10%
Marquette University 227 19% 13 8%
University of Wyoming 197 19% 25 8%
Lawrence Technological University 90 19% 14 7%
Michigan Technological University 662 19% 46 4%
Louisiana Tech University 166 19% 19 0%
University of Alaska Fairbanks 100 19% 10 0%
Mercer University 64 19% 6 0%
The University of Texas at Brownsville 32 19% 11 0%
Gannon University 26 19% 0  
Widener University-Main Campus 93 18% 19 26%
Lipscomb University 22 18% 4 25%
University of Nevada-Las Vegas 149 18% 39 23%
Oklahoma State University-Main Campus 421 18% 27 15%
University of Iowa 447 18% 72 14%
University of Massachusetts-Amherst 400 18% 127 13%
Roger Williams University 44 18% 8 13%
California State University-Long Beach 512 18% 81 12%
Seattle Pacific University 33 18% 9 11%
Northern Arizona University 224 18% 29 10%
Harding University 22 18% 35 9%
Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus 1637 18% 85 7%
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 1463 18% 178 7%
California State University-Bakersfield 28 18% 27 7%
Rochester Institute of Technology 484 18% 101 4%
Clarkson University 415 18% 24 4%
Wright State University-Main Campus 249 18% 47 4%
University of Akron Main Campus 372 18% 1 0%
Calvin College 79 18% 15 0%
Saint Martin's University 56 18% 8 0%
West Virginia University Institute of Technology 45 18% 3 0%
University of St Thomas 101 17% 18 28%
Bradley University 177 17% 15 27%
Auburn University 788 17% 30 20%
Oregon State University 704 17% 238 17%
Arizona State University-Tempe 843 17% 323 16%
University of Louisiana at Lafayette 218 17% 26 12%
University of California-Santa Cruz 133 17% 222 12%
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 1638 17% 274 11%
Kansas State University 395 17% 28 11%
The University of Texas at Dallas 315 17% 158 11%
CUNY City College 297 17% 27 11%
University of Portland 132 17% 20 10%
Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville 168 17% 39 8%
Mississippi State University 441 17% 31 6%
Inter American University of Puerto Rico-Bayamon 58 17% 18 6%
San Francisco State University 163 17% 55 5%
Gonzaga University 156 17% 25 4%
Rowan University 167 17% 53 2%
University of New Haven 93 17% 5 0%
Olivet Nazarene University 23 17% 3 0%
The California Maritime Academy 30 17% 0  
Purdue University-North Central Campus 23 17% 0  
Oklahoma Christian University 49 16% 2 50%
SUNY at Binghamton 309 16% 98 26%
Manhattan College 204 16% 18 17%
James Madison University 62 16% 69 17%
Western Kentucky University 51 16% 18 17%
University of Colorado Colorado Springs 99 16% 32 16%
The University of Texas at San Antonio 316 16% 69 14%
University of South Florida-Main Campus 467 16% 91 11%
The University of Tennessee-Knoxville 456 16% 40 10%
Youngstown State University 129 16% 10 10%
Union College 70 16% 11 9%
Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi 38 16% 32 9%
University of South Alabama 129 16% 24 8%
The University of Texas at Arlington 368 16% 36 6%
University of New Hampshire-Main Campus 295 16% 32 6%
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus 507 16% 19 5%
Trine University 86 16% 1 0%
Walla Walla University 45 16% 4 0%
San Jose State University 527 15% 121 18%
West Virginia University 595 15% 43 16%
Washington State University 582 15% 88 14%
University of Central Florida 932 15% 165 13%
University of Kentucky 446 15% 69 13%
University of North Texas 150 15% 58 12%
California State University-Sacramento 277 15% 73 11%
California State Polytechnic University-Pomona 762 15% 113 8%
San Diego State University 452 15% 74 8%
University of Nebraska-Lincoln 389 15% 40 8%
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley 181 15% 31 6%
California State University-Fresno 147 15% 19 5%
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach 291 15% 2 0%
Montana Tech of the University of Montana 175 15% 5 0%
University of Toledo 333 15% 0  
United States Merchant Marine Academy 111 15% 0  
Philadelphia University 20 15% 0  
SUNY Polytechnic Institute 13 15% 27 7%
The University of Texas at Tyler 80 14% 19 26%
LeTourneau University 85 14% 4 25%
The University of Tennessee-Martin 28 14% 12 25%
Western New England University 119 14% 22 18%
United States Air Force Academy 274 14% 24 17%
Texas State University 100 14% 208 17%
University of California-Santa Barbara 223 14% 127 16%
Universidad Del Turabo 70 14% 76 16%
Stony Brook University 310 14% 117 15%
University at Buffalo 679 14% 100 13%
Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne 43 14% 38 13%
Florida Atlantic University 205 14% 90 12%
College of Staten Island CUNY 37 14% 45 11%
Iowa State University 1155 14% 39 10%
University of Utah 427 14% 101 9%
University of Wisconsin-Platteville 339 14% 32 9%
Texas Tech University 633 14% 43 7%
Old Dominion University 226 14% 48 6%
Portland State University 207 14% 80 6%
The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga 108 14% 34 6%
University of Missouri-St Louis 88 14% 33 3%
University of Detroit Mercy 21 14% 1 0%
Milwaukee School of Engineering 304 14% 0  
Oregon Institute of Technology 85 14% 0  
George Fox University 32 13% 8 38%
South Dakota State University 108 13% 24 25%
Purdue University-Calumet Campus 76 13% 5 20%
Ohio University-Main Campus 183 13% 35 17%
Florida Institute of Technology 284 13% 30 10%
United States Military Academy 280 13% 21 10%
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis 208 13% 48 10%
Tennessee Technological University 296 13% 66 9%
California State University-Los Angeles 188 13% 23 9%
Idaho State University 52 13% 15 7%
University of Michigan-Dearborn 157 13% 36 6%
United States Naval Academy 454 13% 39 3%
Wichita State University 262 13% 0  
Arizona State University-Polytechnic 109 13% 0  
Dordt College 31 13% 0  
Merrimack College 23 13% 0  
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth 177 12% 37 19%
University of Vermont 181 12% 42 17%
Fairfield University 33 12% 6 17%
Western Michigan University 216 12% 107 13%
California State University-Fullerton 216 12% 77 13%
University of Massachusetts-Lowell 357 12% 57 12%
University of Idaho 160 12% 27 11%
University of Southern Maine 34 12% 10 10%
University of Rhode Island 244 12% 37 8%
The University of West Florida 76 12% 53 8%
Temple University 193 12% 32 6%
Arkansas State University-Main Campus 41 12% 19 5%
University of North Dakota 238 12% 26 4%
East Carolina University 78 12% 24 4%
University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus 125 12% 18 0%
Minnesota State University-Mankato 83 12% 1 0%
University of Evansville 57 12% 6 0%
University of California-Merced 161 12% 0  
California Baptist University 58 12% 0  
Alfred University 58 12% 0  
Norfolk State University 19 11% 30 33%
Swarthmore College 18 11% 44 32%
National University 18 11% 24 25%
Sonoma State University 9 11% 30 13%
University of Missouri-Kansas City 84 11% 26 19%
Central Michigan University 45 11% 26 19%
Boise State University 163 11% 47 13%
North Dakota State University-Main Campus 349 11% 49 10%
California State University-Northridge 303 11% 68 10%
Eastern Washington University 94 11% 77 9%
University of Illinois at Chicago 427 11% 83 8%
Brigham Young University-Provo 489 11% 102 7%
University of Arkansas at Little Rock 38 11% 18 6%
University of Minnesota-Duluth 233 11% 29 3%
University of Hartford 107 11% 7 0%
Tarleton State University 10 10% 36 31%
Western Illinois University 10 10% 23 13%
Marietta College 72 10% 2 50%
New York Institute of Technology 178 10% 78 18%
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Harrisburg 189 10% 16 13%
Cedarville University 80 10% 19 5%
Florida Gulf Coast University 78 10% 3 0%
Capitol Technology University 42 10% 3 0%
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Altoona 62 10% 0  
Webb Institute 20 10% 0  
Caribbean University-Bayamon 20 10% 0  
Valparaiso University 76 9% 5 20%
University of North Carolina at Charlotte 336 9% 207 17%
University of Washington-Bothell Campus 56 9% 123 15%
Frostburg State University 23 9% 19 11%
Wentworth Institute of Technology 108 9% 51 6%
California State University-Chico 174 9% 28 4%
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 222 9% 43 2%
West Texas A & M University 46 9% 10 0%
Ferris State University 34 9% 0  
Grand Valley State University 61 8% 58 14%
Kennesaw State University 267 8% 127 12%
Liberty University 38 8% 17 12%
Ohio Northern University 65 8% 9 11%
Wilkes University 64 8% 10 10%
University of Memphis 71 8% 36 8%
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin 38 8% 17 6%
Arkansas Tech University 71 8% 7 0%
University of Wisconsin-Stout 74 8% 0  
Johnson & Wales University-Providence 24 8% 0  
Elizabethtown College 27 7% 6 17%
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Erie-Behrend College 160 7% 10 10%
Utah State University 230 7% 51 8%
California State University-East Bay 30 7% 76 5%
State University of New York at New Paltz 36 6% 13 8%
University of Southern Indiana 49 6% 46 7%
Georgia Southern University 188 6% 38 5%
Northern Illinois University 144 6% 80 5%
Central Connecticut State University 54 6% 37 3%
Citadel Military College of South Carolina 100 6% 3 0%
Norwich University 52 6% 2 0%
SUNY Maritime College 126 6% 0  
SUNY at Albany 19 5% 66 9%
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale 167 5% 25 8%
California State University-San Bernardino 22 5% 34 6%
Brigham Young University-Idaho 153 5% 114 4%
Bowling Green State University-Main Campus 84 5% 5 0%
Saginaw Valley State University 61 5% 11 0%
Massachusetts Maritime Academy 125 5% 0  
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Berks 42 5% 0  
York College Pennsylvania 53 4% 18 28%
Saint Cloud State University 82 4% 16 0%
Virginia Military Institute 88 3% 11 9%
Maine Maritime Academy 101 3% 0  
Baker College 9 0% 30 30%
Park University 3 0% 54 26%
Kent State University at Kent 18 0% 68 18%
University of Northern Iowa 4 0% 40 13%
Ball State University 1 0% 52 13%
Central Washington University 1 0% 36 11%
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania 13 0% 20 10%
Utah Valley University 13 0% 42 5%
Weber State University 21 0% 110 9%
Wellesley College 0   31 100%
North Carolina Wesleyan College 0   29 38%
Western Oregon University 0   32 38%
Bentley University 0   47 36%
Williams College 0   29 34%
Siena College 0   27 33%
The College of Saint Scholastica 0   27 33%
Middlebury College 0   24 33%
Pomona College 0   24 33%
Emory University 0   28 32%
Middle Georgia State University 0   81 32%
Carleton College 0   54 31%
The University of Tampa 0   29 31%
Austin Peay State University 0   81 31%
Northwood University-Michigan 0   21 29%
Montclair State University 0   32 28%
Bryant University 0   22 27%
New Jersey City University 0   26 27%
College of Charleston 0   41 27%
College of William and Mary 0   45 27%
University of Wisconsin-River Falls 0   39 26%
Southern New Hampshire University 0   183 25%
CUNY York College 0   48 25%
DePauw University 0   44 25%
Guilford College 0   24 25%
Lakeland College 0   65 25%
University of Maryland-University College 0   443 24%
University of Central Arkansas 0   29 24%
Wesleyan University 0   25 24%
Macalester College 0   21 24%
Southwest Baptist University 0   21 24%
Saint Leo University 0   190 24%
Amherst College 0   26 23%
University of the Incarnate Word 0   22 23%
CUNY Lehman College 0   36 22%
Georgia State University 0   312 22%
South Texas College 0   23 22%
Texas A & M University-Central Texas 0   43 21%
Bellevue University 0   73 21%
California State University-San Marcos 0   49 20%
Truman State University 0   35 20%
University of Houston-Downtown 0   35 20%
Jacksonville State University 0   30 20%
Indiana University-South Bend 0   25 20%
Colorado Mesa University 0   20 20%
Saint Xavier University 0   20 20%
William Paterson University of New Jersey 0   20 20%
University of Chicago 0   41 20%
Columbus State University 0   36 19%
Troy University 0   129 19%
Kean University 0   31 19%
California University of Pennsylvania 0   32 19%
Wake Forest University 0   32 19%
Marist College 0   38 18%
Southern Connecticut State University 0   38 18%
Pace University-New York 0   33 18%
Drake University 0   22 18%
Colgate University 0   23 17%
Rider University 0   23 17%
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 0   121 17%
Columbia College 0   64 17%
Towson University 0   64 17%
Indiana University-Bloomington 0   101 17%
CUNY Queens College 0   72 17%
Hawaii Pacific University 0   42 17%
University of North Georgia 0   30 17%
Keene State College 0   24 17%
Rhode Island College 0   24 17%
Western Washington University 0   73 16%
University of Mary Washington 0   43 16%
Missouri Southern State University 0   25 16%
Webster University 0   52 15%
Bowdoin College 0   26 15%
Valdosta State University 0   26 15%
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania 0   40 15%
Saint Peter's University 0   20 15%
Northern Kentucky University 0   41 15%
University of Washington-Tacoma Campus 0   172 15%
Sacred Heart University 0   28 14%
Governors State University 0   21 14%
Stevens-Henager College 0   50 14%
Brandeis University 0   43 14%
California State University-Stanislaus 0   29 14%
University of Houston-Victoria 0   29 14%
Regis University 0   66 14%
SUNY at Fredonia 0   22 14%
Texas A&M University-San Antonio 0   22 14%
University of Puget Sound 0   22 14%
University of North Carolina Wilmington 0   59 14%
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire 0   37 14%
Middle Tennessee State University 0   60 13%
Sam Houston State University 0   45 13%
Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus 0   38 13%
East Tennessee State University 0   61 13%
Boston College 0   46 13%
University of Puerto Rico-Arecibo 0   23 13%
University of Wisconsin-Parkside 0   23 13%
Framingham State University 0   31 13%
Lewis University 0   24 13%
University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown 0   24 13%
University of Illinois at Springfield 0   97 12%
Athens State University 0   41 12%
CUNY Hunter College 0   51 12%
Bridgewater State University 0   26 12%
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania 0   26 12%
SUNY College at Brockport 0   26 12%
Eastern Connecticut State University 0   35 11%
Radford University 0   62 11%
University of Arkansas-Fort Smith 0   45 11%
Metropolitan State University of Denver 0   28 11%
St John's University-New York 0   39 10%
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse 0   40 10%
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania 0   20 10%
Loyola University Chicago 0   20 10%
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania 0   20 10%
Northeastern Illinois University 0   72 10%
Roosevelt University 0   21 10%
CUNY Brooklyn College 0   55 9%
University of Central Missouri 0   44 9%
Northwest Missouri State University 0   22 9%
Knox College 0   23 9%
Northeastern State University 0   23 9%
Southern Oregon University 0   23 9%
Appalachian State University 0   48 8%
Dixie State University 0   36 8%
University of Oregon 0   64 8%
Cameron University 0   26 8%
West Chester University of Pennsylvania 0   27 7%
DePaul University 0   56 7%
Illinois State University 0   30 7%
Lock Haven University 0   32 6%
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh 0   35 6%
University of Nebraska at Omaha 0   36 6%
Southeastern Louisiana University 0   37 5%
Metropolitan State University 0   42 5%
Eastern Kentucky University 0   21 5%
University of Minnesota-Morris 0   21 5%
University of Puerto Rico-Bayamon 0   21 5%
University of Southern Mississippi 0   23 4%
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 0   23 4%
Inter American University of Puerto Rico-Metro 0   25 4%
University of West Georgia 0   25 4%
Salisbury University 0   26 4%
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay 0   26 4%
Missouri State University-Springfield 0   36 3%
Millersville University of Pennsylvania 0   37 3%
Angelo State University 0   23 0%
California State University-Channel Islands 0   22 0%

Selective private schools, especially the most prestigious, hold an edge over public universities in the quest for gender balance. Those with lower enrollment and huge pools of qualified applicants often have wider latitude than state schools to use admissions to remake their gender profile.

Incoming first-year students learn a dance as part of orientation at their coed dorm at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. The school has seen its gender ratio equalizing. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)
First-year engineering student Priscilla Chung, 18, left, and Annette Chen, 20, an information systems major, join in a game of ultimate Frisbee on the Cut at Carnegie Mellon. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)
 

Samantha Horry, 18, from the suburbs of Philadelphia, is one of 80 young women among 165 new computer science students this fall at Carnegie Mellon. She fell for the subject in high school, taking eight classes. Almost always, she was the only girl. “Just me and some guys,” she recalled.

That didn’t deter her from winning admission to one of the country’s most prestigious programs to pursue her interests in machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Now Horry is startled at how many young women on campus are following her path in a field where the stereotype of the male teenage computer geek, obsessed with gaming and programming, looms large. She looks around in class and sees, for the first time, gender balance.

“It’s crazy and awesome,” Horry said. “I don’t feel out of place.”

Public schools have been moving more slowly toward gender equality in engineering and science. At the University of Maryland, about 21 percent of engineering graduates and 15 percent of computer science graduates in 2015 were women. Those figures were close to the national averages. But university officials said they have reached out intensively to public high schools to spread the message that engineering and computer science are open to all.

“When you talk with young girls, they want to make a difference in the world,” said Paige Smith, director of the Women in Engineering program at College Park. “They want to help people.”

Engineers do that, Smith said, working on “everything from the food we eat to the houses we live in to the water we drink. We really do try to make it real for them.” The female share of engineering graduates at College Park held steady from 2010 to 2015, while the female share of computer science grads rose seven points, even as the fields exploded in popularity.

The University of Washington, near Microsoft’s Seattle-area home, had the largest share of women in computer science among the nation’s public flagships and some of the largest five-year gains. Thirty-two percent of its graduates in that major were women in 2015, up 11 points in five years.

Ed Lazowska, a computer science and engineering professor at the university, said it is crucial to ensure that introductory courses are engaging for all students, especially those who might struggle at first because they are new to the subject. “If your intro course tries to weed people out, then the people you’re going to weed out are precisely those that are underrepresented in the first place,” Lazowska said.

[Researchers explain how stereotypes keep girls out of computer science class]

Role models matter, too, especially for fields in which male professors far outnumber women. Dartmouth’s engineering dean, Joseph Helble, said the college has sought to diversify its faculty and ensure that engineering students work with as many female teaching assistants and project advisers as possible.

MIT’s engineering dean, Ian Waitz, said schools must guard against gender discrimination. “Things have gotten better,” he said, “but these problems haven’t gone away.”

He cited a recent survey of electrical-engineering and computer science students at MIT that found women tended to harbor more doubts in their abilities than men and that some women felt negative bias from their peers.

At Carnegie Mellon, the head of the electrical and computer engineering department recounted one of her own experiences with male ignorance. Jelena Kovacevic said that after she earned her doctorate in electrical engineering from Columbia University in 1991, she was invited to speak at a conference. She arrived at the location and started preparing. “I could see everybody was ignoring me,” Kovacevic said. “Then a guy asked me, ‘When’s the speaker coming?’ I said, ‘It will be any minute.’ ” Jaws dropped when the audience figured out she was the one. “I thought it was funny,” she said.

Kovacevic said small gestures can make a larger point. When she is running a meeting, she typically asks a male colleague to take notes, pushing back against the notion that secretarial tasks should go to women.

[Carnegie Mellon pushes for more women in engineering, computer science]

Thirty-six percent of Carnegie Mellon’s engineering undergraduates are women. The share is higher for first-year students: 43 percent. Female students are the majority in chemical engineering and civil and environmental engineering. But in Kovacevic’s department, just 27 percent are women. Her strategy to raise those numbers is to make the subject as exciting for students as it is for faculty members.

“The culture is paramount,” she said. “We do it because we are passionate about it.”

Alina Rath, a senior electrical and computer engineering major. She is vice president of Women in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)
Ariana Weinstock, a senior computer science major at Carnegie Mellon, left, introduces herself to first-year computer science major Mera Tegene on Aug. 23. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)
 

University leaders say their push to bring more women into computer science and engineering began years ago and required a multi-pronged strategy — reaching out to high schools and middle schools, diversifying the faculty, pairing young female students with older female mentors, expanding anti-bias training and more.

Andrew Moore, Carnegie Mellon’s dean of computer science, said he called and met with a prospective student named Mera Tegene last spring to discuss her interests in chemistry, computer science and virtual reality. Tegene had been admitted to Moore’s program but had not yet accepted. Moore was eager to recruit the 18-year-old from Dallas.

The dean persuaded her, she said: “That was the decision point.”

Tegene said that while in high school, she and a friend often amused themselves at computer science contests by counting the number of girls in the room. The gender ratio was always lopsided toward boys. At Carnegie Mellon, Tegene still plays the game.

“It’s usually even,” she said. That eases her mind, because she doesn’t feel like the only person in class representing an entire group. “I can be myself.”