Forbes Names UC Davis Top College for Women in STEM

Quick Summary

  • UC Davis topped Forbes' list of the best value colleges for women in STEM
  • Rankings based on "2016 Best Value" universities that specialize in STEM, and rate of female attendance
  • UC Davis' enrollment is 56 percent female, and 29 percent of students specialize in STEM

Lots of people are talking about UC Davis’ top placement on Forbes magazine’s recent list of “The 13 Most Important STEM Colleges for Women.”

UC Davis publicized the ranking in social media posts that garnered hundreds of likes and shares. Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi wrote about the ranking in her Higher Ed Matters blog April 4.

“Rankings are never the be-all, end-all of how we’re doing, but this kind of national recognition is a wonderful reminder that much of the hard work we’ve achieved together on our campus is producing positive results for our students,” the chancellor wrote.

The Forbes list is based on the magazine’s “2016 Best Value” colleges, sorted by those that specialize in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM. Forbes then considered the rate of attendance by women, and “turned up 13 diverse institutions with heavy female representation.”

A graphic used on social media to showcase some of UC Davis' women in STEM fields.
A graphic used on social media to showcase some of UC Davis' women in STEM fields: Lucy Ogbu-Nwobodo, Rose Hong Truong, Sarah Stewart and Sarah Moffitt.

“University of California, Davis, came in at No. 1 on our list of best value colleges for women in STEM, with 56 percent female enrollment and 29 percent of the student body specializing in STEM (as determined by College Scorecard data),” the magazine wrote in a story posted to on March 29. Cornell and Johns Hopkins universities came in second and third, respectively.

Chancellor Katehi noted how Forbes also looked at how strongly the universities support their STEM students, “and it made me proud to see UC Davis come out on top.”

Forbes cited two UC Davis programs: ADVANCE and CAMPOS. The former. funded in 2012 by a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation, works for diversity in STEM faculty by actively promoting the advancement of women and underrepresented minorities with an emphasis on understanding some of the challenges faced by Latina faculty.

The ADVANCE grant provided for the creation of the UC Davis Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives on Science, or CAMPOS, whose mission is to “support discovery of knowledge by promoting women in science, starting with Latinas, through an inclusive environment that is diversity driven, mentorship grounded and career focused.”

“A primary reason for our success has been the outstanding faculty we recruit and the work they spearhead to increase female and underrepresented minority representation in STEM,” Katehi wrote in her blog post.

“There is always more work to be done in diversifying our campus, but I want to thank all the faculty, staff and students who have helped us make the progress we have achieved so far.

“It is through your hard work and dedication that we are able to ensure the success of all our students and give them the tools and education they need to build productive lives for themselves and for their communities.”

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