Humanities Indicators
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Higher Education  >  Undergraduate and Graduate Degree Information for Specific Humanities Disciplines
 
Gender Distribution of Degrees in History
(Updated April 2016)

From 1967 to 2014 the percentage of history degrees earned by women increased at all levels but most dramatically at the doctoral level. Despite the increases, the percentage of women earning degrees in history remained below that for the humanities field as a whole (among both bachelor’s and advanced degrees). As of 2014, gender parity had not yet been achieved at any degree level in history.

Findings and Trends

  • The share of women among history bachelor’s degree recipients peaked at almost 42% in 2004 but then fell gradually over the next decade to slightly below 40% in 2014 (Indicator II-19g).
  • The gender distribution of degrees came closest to parity at the master’s degree level. The share of women receiving degrees in history at this level rose from 27.9% in 1966 to as high as 49.6% in 2012. The share fell slightly (to 48.9%) in 2014.
  • The share of women earning doctoral degrees experienced the largest increase, rising from 12.0% in 1966 to as high as 45.3% in 2010. As of 2014, the share of women earning doctorates in the discipline had fallen slightly to 42.9%.
II-19g: Percentages of Bachelor's and Graduate Degrees in History Awarded to Women, 1967–2014*

* The gaps in the trend lines for 1987 indicate a shift from the National Science Foundation’s disciplinary classification system to the National Center for Education Statistics’ Classification of Instructional Programs. Please see the Note on Data Used to Calculate Discipline-Specific Degree Counts and Shares for an explanation of the differences between the two systems. Degree counts do not include second majors.

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Data System; accessed via the National Science Foundation’s online integrated science and engineering resources data system, WebCASPAR.

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