The underrepresentation of women and minority students in certain disciplines in the graduate schools of American colleges and universities is a matter of great national concern. This concern has been intensified by the decline during the last fifteen years, especially from 1978 to 1988, in graduate school enrollments of all categories of American students. But, even before this most recent period of decline and during a time when the enrollment of women and minority students was at its highest (between 1968 and 1974, as a consequence, primarily, of the civil rights movement), the representation of women and minorities in the sciences, engineering, and mathematics, and, in the case of minorities, in the humanities, was negatively disproportionate to their numbers in undergraduate colleges and, indeed, in postbaccalaureate education.


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