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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.905 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v1.i1.50
pages 63-88

WOMEN GRADUATE STUDENTS IN MATHEMATICS AND PHYSICS: REFLECTIONS ON SUCCESS

Carol Hollenshead
Center for the Education of Women at The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Patricia Soellner-Younce
Center for the Education of Women at The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Stacy A. Wenzel
Center for the Education of Women at The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

ABSTRACT

This article focuses on women graduate students in an effort to understand the relationships between their attitudes and experiences and their underrepresentation in math and physics graduate programs. Far too little is known about the factors affecting their educational experiences. In order to address this knowledge gap, a qualitative study was conducted at one major research university. Women mathematics and physics graduate students who participated in focus groups identified common themes that played important roles in their lives and their decisions to go into scientific careers. These factors included the amount of encouragement they received from others, attributes of their undergraduate school, their experiences of competition and cooperation, and various characteristics of their graduate program environment.


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