Forbes Magazine recently released their ranking of schools “getting it right” for women and minorities studying science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Producing more graduates with STEM degrees is an important goal for any college. According to’s 2010-2011 College Salary Report, the majors with the highest starting and mid-career salaries are nearly all STEM degrees.

Women in STEM

According to the American Council on Education, 57 percent of all college students are women – but women only represent 45 percent of college math majors, 20 percent of computer science majors and 20 percent of engineering majors.

The Top STEM School for Women, according to Forbes, is Westminster College in Pennsylvania. The closest school to North Carolina ranked in this category was Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C. at No. 14.

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Minorities in STEM

A report from the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering showed only 12.5 percent of the engineering bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2006 went to underrepresented minorities, including African Americans, Hispanics and American Indians.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota was ranked first. Davidson College was listed at No. 16 on their rankings as a Top STEM School for Minorities. Davidson was the only North Carolina-based school listed in either category by Forbes.

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Forbes’ Analysis

The magazine known for its lists ranked the top 20 schools in only two categories.

The approach for finding the best schools for women in STEM took a similar approach to the minorities in STEM rankings, except that instead of comparing women to men, they compared African Americans, Hispanics and American Indians (groups typically underrepresented in STEM) to Whites and Asians (groups typically well-represented in STEM).

The magazine also set one caveat for their rankings. They excluded from their analysis those schools where the student body is almost entirely female or minority students.

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