Easier for Female Engineers?

<p>Although all the admissions data I have been able to find supports the idea that there is generally a higher acceptance rate for women than for men in engineering schools, I have not been able to find the cause.</p>

<p>Is there an Affirmative Action thing going on here or is it that the women whom DO choose to go into the field are all extremely well-qualified as a whole?</p>

<p>To elaborate, are the scores and qualifications of women who are accepted comparable to or lower than those of their male counterparts?</p>

<p>If it helps, I'm most interested in attending Carnegie Mellon University, where about 1/4 of male applicants and 1/3 of female applicants are accepted into the engineering program.</p>

<p>I'm no scientist, so I can't provide anything more than anecdotal data, really. </p>

<p>On average, my experience at CMU has been that the female engineers and computer scientists struggle more than the male students do. Often they come in with no engineering/robotics/CS experience whatsoever. It may be Affirmative Action, or it may just be that the university is trying to create as diverse a class as possible, and accepting a bunch of nerdy white guys might not necessarily be condusive to diversity. ;)</p>

<p>Either way, I do give them massive props: they may have a harder time with their classes, but they work very hard to make up for it, IMHO. Even though they're not qualified on the surface, with a good work ethic, they are just as qualified as any other member of their male peers.</p>

<p>Are their scores lower? Hell if I know. From what I've seen on both this board and among my friends, yes, but that could not be representative of the population.</p>

<p>There are a few possibilities here.</p>

<ol>
<li> Women are known to choose schools for which they have "fit", on more occasions than males, who might apply to a school as a reach.</li>
<li> Women struggle more with math and science because spatial reasoning in females is less developed than that of males.</li>
<li> It is quite possible there is some sort of affirmative action going on- but only in some cases. I am the only person I knew that "didnt" really have the scores in comparison to my peers, but that could have been because I went to an inner city school. Most women were pretty qualified in the ECE department.</li>
</ol>