STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and has traditionally been a heavily male-dominated field of study. While it is becoming considerably more common for women to pursue STEM degrees and careers, the field is still predominantly made up of men. Only an estimated 36% of STEM bachelor’s degrees are earned by women, although women earn more than half of all bachelor’s degrees overall.
There are several opportunities in the STEM field. Careers in this field can be highly rewarding and frequently have significantly higher than average incomes. For these reasons, it’s extremely important and beneficial that women can break into STEM. Unfortunately, many women are put off the idea of pursuing a degree or career in STEM due to the overwhelming proportion of men, lack of resources, and the feeling that they don’t belong in the field. This is a primary reason why programs that focus on introducing and stabilizing more females in STEM fields and careers are so critically important. Here, we will go over some of the top STEM programs in the United States available to women.
University of Texas, Austin
The University of Texas in Austin is a public university that puts a heavy emphasis on introducing women to science-based fields of study. The University of Texas, Austin is a fantastic college for women in STEM because it offers several organizations that aim to assist women pursuing STEM majors. These organizations include Women in Natural Science, Women in Chemistry, and Women in Computer Science. The university also puts considerable effort into mentorship programs and workshops that aim to help women battle the challenges that they may face in science-based fields of study.
Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr is a private college in Pennsylvania that participates in The Posse Foundation, which offers full scholarships to 10 women each year who wish to pursue a career in a STEM field. This program is available to women in the Houston and Boston areas, typically from underrepresented or marginalized communities. Furthermore, the college offers high-quality professional development workshops and faculty mentorship that can be very beneficial to women in STEM fields.
Barnard College, located in New York City, is known as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States. However, the college also offers extremely advantageous resources for women pursuing STEM degrees, such as funding for research, faculty advisors, and plenty of student organizations. Additionally, the college promotes an opportunity to engineering students whereby they can earn two separate degrees in just five years by undertaking a Bachelor of Arts degree at Barnard and then pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering at Columbia University.
Located in Maryland, Towson University offers a Women in Science program that emphasizes the importance of building an academic environment where female students studying sciences can feel comfortable and included in their degree programs. The university also offers the Advance It program, which proactively works to promote the advancement of female faculty, tenure, and leadership positions within the university. This is beneficial for female students, as it means there are plenty of opportunities for mentorship and faculty advisory by female professors in STEM fields.
Wellesley College in Massachusetts is another liberal arts college with an incredible STEM program. They primarily focus on helping women in the fields of biology, neuroscience, information science, research, and experimental psychology. Wellesley College is known for its partnership programs with other universities that assist women in STEM fields. For example, they offer the opportunity for students to participate in research with Harvard Medical School graduate students through their program BioChem Boot Camp. Furthermore, they’re extremely supportive of assisting STEM students who come from underrepresented communities or marginalized backgrounds. Wellesley College offers numerous assistive programs such as early research programs for Sophomores, lab apprenticeships, and innumerable STEM seminars.
Rutgers University is not only a top public research university, it also sets itself apart from other programs primarily because it offers women the opportunity to enroll in a female-only residential college. Through this single-sex residential college, called ODouglass Residential College, women can access numerous resources such as career planning and leadership training which can be hugely beneficial to STEM program participants. Furthermore, Rutgers offers a specific Women in STEM program that introduces women pursuing a degree in science, technology, engineering, or math to other women within those fields.
These days, top-quality STEM programs in the United States are numerous in general, but it’s often a different story for women. While there might be plenty of colleges and universities that offer high-ranking STEM programs, the issue is that these programs are usually extremely male-dominated. The programs discussed above place a critical and extremely beneficial emphasis on encouraging women to pursue STEM degrees and, ultimately, careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. While some fields within STEM are advancing when it comes to the number of female participants, other fields, namely technology and engineering, are still lacking in female influence. College programs that assist women and help them feel more comfortable and at-home whilst pursuing STEM are invaluable to the advancement of the field.