Race and STEM Degree Attainment

Yingyi Ma, Yan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This paper reviews the key literature on racial disparities in entry and persistence to attain a STEM bachelor's degree. Overall, the literature provides quite consistent evidence that Black and Hispanic students are well represented in college major choices in STEM, which testifies to the interest of racial minorities in STEM fields. However, they are left behind during college, and many are left without a STEM degree or any degree whatsoever. We emphasize that although racial minority students may seem to be left behind during college in STEM fields, the problem dates further back to pre-college. We need to examine college and pre-college studies in an integrative manner, in order to achieve full understanding and come up with the right solution to the problem of racial disparity in STEM attainment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-618
Number of pages10
JournalSociology Compass
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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