Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Increasing numbers of women are earning doctorate degrees each year, and women constitute an increasing proportion of new doctorate recipients, but women doctoral students and graduates are a small minority of all women, and a minority in almost all fields of study and work settings, which sets them apart as a group subject to a peculiar set of problems;The first study of women doctorate holders was made in 1930, yet this study has seldom been referenced by other researchers, and comparisons of more recent women doctorate recipients with their earliest counterparts have not been made. Despite subsequent research, the need for more information about women as doctoral students and holders of the doctorate has been pointed out. In addition, no comprehensive summary of the research on women doctorate recipients has been made, so that those wishing to make decisions or give advice with respect to some aspect of doctoral study or postdoctoral career development have no single resource to aid them;The research reported here was designed with the objectives of providing a comprehensive summary of research on women doctorate holders, and comparing the most recent women doctorate recipients with their earliest counterparts. The characteristics of women doctorate holders, their doctoral study, postdoctoral career development, and obstacles to their career development were addressed;Findings with respect to the earliest (1877-1924) doctorates were presented, along with a summary of more recent research, and the results of a questionnaire survey of 1973-1974 doctorate recipients. It was found that the characteristics, doctoral study and postdoctoral career development of the earliest and the most recent doctorate recipients were similar in many ways, but there were also differences. An analysis of the situation of women doctorate recipients showed both positive and negative trends, and it was concluded that progress for women doctorate recipients will be slow.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Gillian Elliott Smith



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

252 pages