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11-12-2012, 10:46 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Women at colleges with "tech" in the name
This is just a request for general discussion about women at these types of schools.
D is beginning her college search. She loves STEM, or at least math and science, is just beginning to explore the idea of applying that interest and ability to engineering, CS, pre-med, PA programs.
There are a lot of schools with strong STEM programs with, for lack of a better way of saying it, "tech" in the name that she might consider. MIT, WPI, RPI, RIT, NYU Poly. Maybe Carnegie Mellon.
I notice several have "women in engineering" or "women in STEM" outreach programs. Most of these schools have a lot more men than women. As a woman it appears these are the colleges where she might have an edge in acceptance and aid (as opposed to most LACs where men have that edge).
D is also an athlete, I wonder what the women's sports scenes are like at these schools?
She'll visit a couple and see how it feels firsthand of course but I'm hoping to find out if there are substantial differences between these schools she should consider, really any info at all.
She has never been one to take apart a toaster, play video games, write an app or join a robotics club. I think she's probably more interested in scientific research or health/pre-med. This summer she may try a STEM program to get a feel for the work and see if she likes it, but the ones she's looking at are not at these schools, they're at places like Smith or state schools in VA or MD. (We are in Ohio.)
What I'm asking for here is the experience of any women, or parents or friends of women at these schools regarding the feel of the campus, the experience of being among relatively few women, if the faculty ratio is also out of balance?
11-12-2012, 10:59 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Frankly, major univs that don't have "tech" in their names ALSO have women's eng'g outreaches and women-only eng'g org'ns because at most co-ed univs, the percent of women in the College of Engineering is still a low 15-20%.
So, acceptance and aid, based on gender, could be a factor at any of these schools (however, if aid at a school is strictly need-based, then gender/major won't play a role).
A number of schools with "tech" in their names may be OOS publics for you. If so, aid will likely be purely merit-based, and not need-based, and may not factor gender in at all.
Since your D is an athlete, I would think the women's sports would have a stronger presence at regular co-ed national univs.
"I think she's probably more interested in scientific research or health/pre-med."
If she's interested in MD or PHD programs, then getting the highest GPA possible is necessary.
11-12-2012, 11:08 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Thanks mom. I know a lot of universities - LACs as well - can be great options for STEM and also offer a different feel, and I suspect that her final list will be dominated by these. (One "good bet" that is intriguing to me is Clark for its 3/2 MS and its 5 year PA program).
...but how different IS the scene - academic and social - at tech schools? That's what I'm really wondering.
(OOS publics are NOT likely to be on her list though a couple have come on our radar for having great merit, like Pitt).
She is an athlete but unlikely to play on a varsity team, certainly not looking to be recruited. But she'll want to play club or intramural or something. Lacrosse and volleyball.
11-12-2012, 11:27 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
If you want aid/merit, then a 3/2 program can be iffy for those last 2 years. Be sure to check and see what aid (if any) is available for the "other" school...especially if that's a masters program.
What are your D's stats? UPitt has gotten tighter with it's merit awards (at least the tighter with the bigger merit awards).
As for the social scenes and intramural atmosphere, you might want to look over the "campus life" webpages on each school's website. For intramural info, you can usually find that on the Student Rec Center webpage.
If you want merit options as safeties, then why not apply to a couple of schools with ASSURED merit for stats? Those schools have approaching scholarship deadlines, though....often Dec 1 or mid Dec..
11-12-2012, 11:47 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Clark offers the 5th year of the 3/2 tuition free. Pretty neat, if one wants a CTCL school in Worcester. Earn a 5th Year Tuition-free Master's Degree at Clark University
She's a sophomore, we have time. Her GPA is 3.9ish right now, mostly honors and now this year an AP. She just took her first PSAT. We are early in the process but I know from my experience with S (now a college freshman) that it's not too early to start planning and thinking about options. Especially general ones like "what TYPE of school should we be looking at?".
Hence the questions about the feel of the tech colleges, especially for women.
11-12-2012, 12:11 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
One thing - since women are underrepresented at engineering schools they often get really significant merit scholarships. Obviously, the better her grades and test scores the better the opportunities for money :-)
She may develop an interest in biomedical engineering or biotechnology so you may want to look for schools where that is an option.
Here is an interesting article about the underlying issue of women in STEM. Why do women steer clear of engineering? - College, Inc. - The Washington Post
I'll give a plug for WPI
where my son goes to school. This is a good article: WPI Named a Top University for Helping Women Succeed in STEM Fields|Parents and Friends Newsletter
There are certain majors where there are lots of women students such as biology, chemistry, biomedical engineering etc. and then some where there are very few such as Interactive Media and Game Design, and perhaps robotics.
WPI has a welcoming though nerdy vibe; the kids are friendly and like the non-competitive atmosphere which is fostered by their project-based curriculum.
Some other links: Pre-Health: Create Your Own Advantage - WPI
A few Youtube videos:
Admissions video: WPI Admissions - YouTube
Here's a review from a female student: WPI student experience: Erin - YouTube
If you are considering Clark, then check out WPI. They are only 2 miles apart (though WPI is in a slightly better part of Worcester).
11-12-2012, 12:20 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Thank you bean, we do plan to look at both. As we're in Ohio and she'd prefer a school in the NE, we only have so many opportunities to visit that far away and so will try to do a couple of multi day runs to the area over the next couple of years.
I think I've seen WPI mentioned in a list of STEM schools that are good for women, wherever I saw that list I also found some interesting summer programs. She's a young soph, only 15 all summer, so can't intern in most labs, but there are some neat looking class-lab options. I think biomedical is probably the type of engineering that would interest her most at the moment, but I say that only because she hasn't taken physics yet, loves bio and chem, and really enjoyed the neuroscience course she took at Brown last summer. I'm thinking a one or two week engineering camp/class may help guide her.
I appreciate your input
11-12-2012, 02:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Harvey Mudd College, in Claremont, CA, may be further away than you had been considering, but it offers:
1. Top-notch STEM programs
2. A liberal arts approach to STEM (broad education in STEM, and humanities also).
3. Access to classes at other excellent LACs (Pomona, Claremont-Mckenna, Scripps, Pitzer) as a part of the Claremont Consortium.
4. Current gender ratio at 42% women. The current incoming class is 48% women. HMC has worked hard to bring more women aboard.
5. Athletic teams fielded in combination with other schools in the consortium.
6. Programs to promote STEM to women and URM.
Harvey Mudd is highly selective, look to see if it's a good match.
11-12-2012, 02:16 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Thank you for the suggestion. It is, as you say, too far for us...she really wants NE or mid-Atlantic.
11-12-2012, 02:20 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Your daughter sounds a lot like mine.
A female definitely has an advantage applying in Engineering Schools and probably for STEM in general. Females are underrepresented here.
A primary choice is whether your D would prefer an "Institution" or a "University". The difference (at least per our perception) is that at an Institution (i.e., MIT, RPI, Cal Tech, etc.) the vast majority of the students are focused on the sciences. Academically, people have similar-ish interests. At a University, (e.g., Harvard, Cornell, Michigan, etc.) you will have the science students, the english majors, the theater majors, etc. -- in other words a broader range of academic interests.
There really is no right or wrong here, some prefer one type of school and some the other.
Your overall gender ratio will, of course be closer to 50-50 at most Universities.
FWIW -- my D decided early in the process that she prefered the University model (wouldn't look at any school that had the word Tech in the name). She's currently a Soph at Northwestern Engineering (McCormick) studying Computer Science. Her roommate is a theater major -- she loves it there.
11-12-2012, 02:23 PM
Join Date: May 2011
I highly recommend Harvey Mudd as well, it is an excellent choice! It's position within the consortium is ideal for the type of student your daughter sounds like. Is the emphasis on NE and Mid-Atlantic because of distance? Or because of geographical or cultural or weather preferences? She won't be returning home often at any school, so maybe the 1 or 2 fewer trips she would have going to a west coast school is worth the benefit of attending a better college that fits her needs.
11-12-2012, 02:40 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Thank you zephyr. It may be that she will have to visit in person to see if "institute/tech" appeals to her or not. (Northwestern is a U she will consider even though it is not in the NE - because it's in a "real city"
A friend of her older brother is also a frosh in eng there this year.)
PAG, CA is just too far. We live in OH but have a lot of family in the NE. She's always wanted to go NE, preferably to NYC or Boston or DC or Prov but will consider smaller NE/MA cities if they are not too far from those.
Her scores, as they develop, will help us narrow things down further but for now I am curious about the "feel" of the tech colleges. I get the impression from the class specific threads I've participated in (this is my second username here, had a technical issue with my old account), that boys who loved programming and gaming and math contests feel like they find "their people" there....but she isn't that kind of kid...are "her people" there too?
11-12-2012, 02:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Schools where at least 20% of the Engineering graduates are women
46.5% Massachusetts Institute of Technology
44.9% Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
38.7% Tulane University of Louisiana
37.5% Columbia University in the City of New York
37.0% Brown University
36.1% California Institute of Technology
35.9% Harvey Mudd College
35.8% Southern Methodist University
35.7% Harvard University
35.0% Loyola Marymount University
34.7% University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez
34.5% SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
34.2% George Washington University
34.1% Dartmouth College
33.7% Tufts University
33.3% Vanderbilt University
32.9% Rice University
32.6% University of Rochester
32.3% Mercer University
31.7% University of Virginia-Main Campus
30.8% Princeton University
30.7% Duke University
30.7% Stanford University
30.5% Johns Hopkins University
30.5% Carnegie Mellon University
29.7% University of Alabama at Birmingham
29.6% Cornell University
29.6% Northwestern University
29.2% University of Pennsylvania
28.9% University of Notre Dame
28.8% Seattle University
28.6% University of Portland
28.1% Yale University
28.0% Santa Clara University
27.3% Roger Williams University
27.3% Trinity University
27.2% Bucknell University
27.2% Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
27.1% University of Southern California
26.5% Stevens Institute of Technology
26.4% The College of New Jersey
25.6% Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
25.5% University of San Diego
25.3% University of California-San Diego
25.2% Florida International University
25.0% East Carolina University
25.0% University of Houston
24.8% Virginia Commonwealth University
24.8% University of Miami
24.7% Case Western Reserve University
24.6% Lafayette College
24.3% Washington University in St Louis
24.1% North Carolina State University at Raleigh
24.0% University of Dayton
24.0% University of the Pacific
24.0% University of Iowa
23.8% Hope College
23.7% Villanova University
23.5% Geneva College
23.2% Boston University
23.1% University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
23.0% Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus
22.9% Colorado School of Mines
22.8% University of Maryland-College Park
22.8% Syracuse University
22.3% University of Washington-Seattle Campus
22.2% St. Mary's University
22.0% South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
22.0% Marquette University
21.9% United States Coast Guard Academy
21.7% Fairfield University
21.7% Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis
21.7% Kent State University at Kent
21.7% The University of Alabama
21.4% Lehigh University
21.3% University of Tulsa
21.3% The University of Texas at Austin
21.2% Miami University-Oxford
21.1% Illinois Institute of Technology
20.9% University of Delaware
20.9% University of California-Davis
20.9% University of Alabama at Huntsville
20.7% University of Colorado Boulder
20.6% New Jersey Institute of Technology
20.6% Arizona State University
20.6% Michigan State University
20.5% University of California-Los Angeles
20.5% University of California-Berkeley
20.3% Missouri University of Science and Technology
20.3% University of Maine
20.0% University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus
20.0% Humboldt State University
11-12-2012, 02:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Schools from which at least 40 women graduated in Engineering in 2010
402 Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus
288 North Carolina State University at Raleigh
272 Purdue University-Main Campus
265 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
238 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
236 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
227 Texas A & M University-College Station
219 The University of Texas at Austin
203 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
192 Cornell University
185 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
185 University of Florida
183 Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
175 University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez
169 University of California-Berkeley
167 University of California-San Diego
154 University of Maryland-College Park
146 Ohio State University-Main Campus
144 University of Washington-Seattle Campus
144 University of California-Los Angeles
143 University of Virginia-Main Campus
140 Missouri University of Science and Technology
136 Colorado School of Mines
136 Iowa State University
125 Arizona State University
122 University of Wisconsin-Madison
122 California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo
118 University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
111 University of Southern California
109 Clemson University
102 Columbia University in the City of New York
101 University of California-Davis
101 University of Colorado Boulder
100 Carnegie Mellon University
99 Vanderbilt University
99 University of Central Florida
96 Northwestern University
95 Drexel University
93 Rutgers University-New Brunswick
93 Oregon State University
91 Florida International University
90 Auburn University
89 University of California-Irvine
87 University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus
87 Michigan Technological University
84 Stevens Institute of Technology
83 Johns Hopkins University
81 Duke University
80 Stanford University
80 Michigan State University
80 California State Polytechnic University-Pomona
79 New Jersey Institute of Technology
77 Case Western Reserve University
76 University at Buffalo
75 University of Pennsylvania
75 University of Connecticut
72 University of Notre Dame
71 Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
71 Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College
70 University of South Florida-Main Campus
69 University of Iowa
68 The University of Alabama
64 Princeton University
64 University of Houston
64 Lehigh University
63 Boston University
63 University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
63 Texas Tech University
62 University of Delaware
57 Rice University
57 Illinois Institute of Technology
57 Mississippi State University
57 University of Cincinnati-Main Campus
56 Tufts University
55 University of Dayton
55 Northeastern University
54 University of Kentucky
54 The University of Tennessee
53 Washington University in St Louis
53 University of Alabama at Huntsville
53 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach
52 California State University-Long Beach
51 Villanova University
51 West Virginia University
50 University of Arizona
50 Kettering University
50 University of Illinois at Chicago
49 University of Arkansas
49 San Jose State University
48 University of Nebraska-Lincoln
46 CUNY City College
46 Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
46 Washington State University
45 Marquette University
45 Florida State University
44 University of Rochester
44 Santa Clara University
44 University of New Hampshire-Main Campus
44 Clarkson University
43 Southern Methodist University
43 Rochester Institute of Technology
41 Virginia Commonwealth University
41 Syracuse University
41 University of Maine
41 Colorado State University-Fort Collins
40 Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
40 Bucknell University
40 University of Rhode Island
40 University of Massachusetts Amherst
40 United States Naval Academy
11-12-2012, 02:59 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Thank you, very interesting.
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