More women than men earned PhDs last year

Of the doctoral degrees awarded in the 2008-09 academic year, 28,962 went to women and 28,469 to men, according to an annual enrollment report from the Council of Graduate Schools, based in Washington.

Doctoral degrees, which require an average of seven years’ study, are typically the last to show the impact of long-term changes. “It is a trend that has been snaking its way through the educational pipeline,” said Nathan Bell, the report’s author and the director of research and policy analysis for the council. “It was bound to happen.”

Women have long outnumbered men in earning master’s degrees, especially in education. Women earned nearly six in 10 graduate degrees in 2008-09, according to the new report, which is based on an annual survey of graduate institutions.