Using data from the 1995-96 Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS:96/01), this Statistics in Brief focuses on undergraduates who enter STEM programs and examines their characteristics and postsecondary outcomes (persistence and degree completion) several years after beginning postsecondary education. Findings include:
- Twenty-three percent of 1995–96 beginning postsecondary students had majored in a STEM field at some point between their initial enrollment in 1995–96 and about 6 years later, as of 2001.
- STEM entrants generally did better than non-STEM entrants in terms of bachelor’s degree attainment and overall persistence.
- Among all STEM entrants between 1995–96 and 2001, some 53 percent persisted in a STEM field by either completing a degree in a STEM field or staying enrolled in a STEM field, and the remaining 47 percent left STEM fields by either switching to a non-STEM field or leaving postsecondary education without earning any credential.
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With all of the momentum around STEM education, this is another resource for science leaders and educators to consider.