seal  Purdue News

July 16, 2003

Purdue civil engineering recruits large percentage of women

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University's incoming crop of civil engineering graduate students next fall will include more women than ever before.

Out of 91 incoming students enrolled for master's and doctoral programs in the School of Civil Engineering, 35 are women – or 39 percent. That compares with 30 out of 98, or about 31 percent, of incoming students last fall and comparable ratios in previous years, said Marcie Duffin, administrative assistant for graduate programs in the school.

Next fall's group of incoming students includes 45 U.S. citizens, 28 percent of which are minorities. Usually about 12 percent of the incoming American students are minorities.

Duffin credits the increase in next year's female enrollment to recruiting efforts geared specifically toward women applicants, who might otherwise feel intimidated or alienated when entering a field traditionally dominated by men. Duffin said she makes sure that prospective women students are kept informed about the progress of their application. She provides women applicants with information, such as about housing options, and introduces them to women civil engineering students who can talk about issues of special interest to women, such as campus security.

Last year's graduating class of 114 master's and doctoral civil engineering students included 20 women, or 17 percent. In 2002 the ratio was 106 to 16, or 15 percent. 

Increasing the percentage of women students in civil engineering reflects campuswide diversity efforts, Duffin said.

Writer: Emil Venere, (765) 494-4709,

Sources: Marcie Duffin, (765) 494-2156,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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