NCES Data on U.S. Programs in Architecture and Related Fields
Ethnicity and Gender of Graduates

December 2014

The interactive graphics on this page explore ethnicity and gender information from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) on 2012-13 graduates in architecture and related fields. 

Visualizing this same dataset, the Graduates and Institutions page looks at overall enrollment and institutional characteristics from this same dataset; and you can also explore a map and list of programs that describe institution-level characteristics of schools offering NAAB-accredited, NAAB-candidate, and non-professional programs in architecture, and in other architecture-related fields.

Among Whites, Hispanics, and Blacks, More Men Than Women Earned Architecture Degrees

How do the ethnicity and gender of architecture graduates compare with other graduates at the same institutions? This first chart considers those who graduated in 2012-13 with degrees in architecture, architecture-related majors (combined in this view), and all majors (architecture-related and others).

We can see that although more women than men earned degrees across all majors, in all groups except "international" (nonresident aliens) this gender balance often reverses among architecture and architecture-related majors. That is, there were more white men than white women among architecture degree earners. The same holds true for Hispanics, Blacks, and Natives and Pacific Islanders (a group which includes the NCES categories of 'American Indians/Alaska Natives' and 'Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander'). Among Asians, the numbers are closer to equal for both genders in both architecture and other majors. Among international students, the pattern is the opposite: there were more male than female graduates across all majors, while this gender gap is somewhat closed among architecture graduates.

The default view on this chart shows this data for all institutions that had at least one graduate in an architecture or related major in 2012-13, and you can toggle the filters to show just a subset of these schools. You can also select an individual state or institution to see just those graduates. For example, when you toggle between private not-for-profit and public institutions under the 'Funding' filter, you can see that international students are much less common at public institutions.

Architecture Had More International and Fewer Black Graduates By Percent Than All Majors

Which majors are "most white"? "Most black"? "Most international"? This first chart shows the percent of 2012-13 graduates in each major by ethnicity. For example, you can see that Hispanics were strongly represented among graduates in architectural technologies, and more represented among architecture graduates than in all majors at these institutions. On the other hand, Blacks were less represented in architecture than they were in all majors institution-wide or in several other architecture-related majors.

Hover over each bar for details. You can filter the results by gender and level of graduates, and by institutional funding type and Carnegie Classification. You can also select an individual institution to see the breakdown of graduates by race/ethnicity at that institution.

Architecture Had Fewer Female Graduates by Percent Than Most Related Fields or All Majors

The next chart breaks down the majors in a similar way, this time by gender. For example, you can see that in 2012-13 architecture had a lower percentage of women than all majors at these institutions; and if you toggle through the degree levels under 'Filter by Graduates,' you can see that this is true at all levels.

You can also see that 91% of graduates in interior design are female; and by toggling through the various ethnicities under the 'Filter by Graduates' heading, you can see that interior design is predominantly female within each ethnicity.

Hispanic and Blacks Are Underrepresented in Architecture at Most Degree Levels

To what extent does this distribution of graduates by ethnicity and gender represent the demographics of the United States as a whole? That is, which demographics are underrepresented among graduates in architecture and related fields? This final chart shows graduates by ethnicity and gender across the various degree levels, with a dotted reference line showing the percent of each ethnic demographic in the U.S. population. 

This chart shows that at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels, Hispanic and Black men and women are underrepresented among architecture graduates since they comprise a smaller percent of architecture graduates than their percent in the U.S. population (with the exception of Hispanic men at the bachelor's level). Women are often underrepresented as well, although white women are represented in a greater percentage among architecture doctoral degree earners than in the U.S. population overall; and Asian women are more represented among architecture degree earners at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.

By toggling through majors under 'Filter by Graduate,' you can see how architecture compares with architecture-related fields and all majors at these institutions. You can also look at graduates from a subset of institutions by exploring the 'Filter by Institution' settings. For example, by selecting 'architecture' as a major and focusing just on private institutions, you can see that there were very few white men completing doctoral degrees in architecture at private institutions in 2012-13, as compared with their numbers in the overall U.S. population.  

These trends may look different if we include data from multiple years, so in future visualizations, we will expand the data included in order to share a fuller picture.

If you're looking for information on overall enrollment and institutional characteristics, please see Graduates and Institutions, as well as our Map of Programs and List of Programs. To learn more about the underlying dataset or to download this and similar data, please visit the National Center for Education Statistics.

To let us know how you are using this data and what you'd like to see in the future, or if you have questions or corrections, please contact Kendall Nicholson, Director of Research + Information.

Return to the 
NCES Data on U.S. Programs in Architecture and Related Fields page or to Data Resources.