Women in Computer Science: Getting Involved in STEM

November 23, 2020 | Staff Writers

The Current State of Women in Computer Science

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects computer science research jobs will grow 19% by 2026. Yet, women only earn 18% of computer science bachelor’s degrees in the United States. Despite the high job demand, computer science remains a male-dominated field in the United States. In response, many top colleges are making efforts to recruit female computer science students, making it an ideal time for women to pursue computer science degrees.

The computer science field has been trying to appeal more to female employees by moving toward longer maternity leave and better work-life balance for working moms. However, efforts to attract women to tech-related careers need to begin in elementary school. On this page, you can learn more about why women aren’t choosing tech careers and what can be done to change that.

Why Aren’t More Women Involved in Computer Science?

Starting when computer technology first emerged during World War II and continuing into the 1960s, women made up most of the computing workforce. By 1970, however, women only accounted for 13.6% of bachelor’s in computer science graduates. In 1984 that number rose to 37%, but it has since declined to 18% — around the same time personal computers started showing up in homes. According to NPR, personal computers were marketed almost exclusively to men and families were more likely to buy computers for boys than girls.

Computers are now commonplace, especially in classrooms. While it’s hard to pinpoint a single reason for the lack of female computer science majors, researchers are finding that introductory computer science courses play a big role in discouraging women from majoring in computer science. Luckily, organizations like Building, Recruiting, and Inclusion for Diversity (BRAID) are researching ways to attract and support female CS students. Currently, 15 colleges partner with BRAID to create gender-inclusive learning environments.

By 1970, however, women only accounted for 13.6% of bachelor’s in computer science graduates. In 1984 that number rose to 37%, but it has since declined to 18% — around the same time personal computers started showing up in homes.

The percentage of women working in computer science-related professions has declined since the 1990s, dropping from 35% to 26% between 1990 and 2013. According to the American Association of University Women, we can reverse this trend by removing negative connotations around women in computer science. Educators and parents must work together to help girls maintain their confidence and curiosity in STEM subjects. Professional women already in the field can become mentors, while men can help create a more inclusive workplace.

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Why Should Women Want to Work in Computer Science?

Due to the marketing strategies of the last three decades, many women have developed misconceptions about computer science. While the notion of the geek coder is alive and well, many young women are unaware of the myriad jobs and opportunities available in tech.

According to the American Association of University Women, computer science has one of the smallest pay gaps between male and female professionals, with women earning 94% of what men earn.

The University of California at Berkeley experienced a revolution in their introductory computer science classes after changing how they marketed the course. What used to be known as introduction to symbolic programming is now called the beauty and the joy of computing. As a result, in 2014 women outnumbered men in the class for the very first time.

According to the American Association of University Women, computer science has one of the smallest pay gaps between male and female professionals, with women earning 94% of what men earn.

Discrepancies in overall male-to-female pay rates have remained stalled for the last decade, and women are greatly underrepresented in computer science fields. Only 20% of computer science professionals are women.

Increasing the inclusion of women is a sound business strategy. A study by Deloitte found that women’s choices account for up to 85% of buying decisions nationwide, and that diversity drives innovation. Though it is still commonplace to find boards and project teams without a female member, the integration of female perspectives will naturally lead to higher revenues and a better understanding of consumer marketplaces.

What are Some Other Reasons for Women to Consider Entering the Tech Field?

In addition to the reasons mentioned above, many tech and computer science companies are at the forefront of progressive workplace policies. Some of the most innovative tech company benefits are included below.

Work/Life Balance

In a report by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, researchers found that women working in tech companies — particularly start-ups — are much more likely to have a healthy work-life balance. Many tech companies support non-traditional work procedures, including videoconferencing and working from home. Furthermore, many of these companies offer flexible hours, allowing employees to work around their personal schedules to complete projects.

Maternity Leave and Childcare

While the average length of maternity leave in America for salaried employees is six weeks, many technology companies provide substantial paid-leave policies for new parents. Some of the best examples of parental leave policies as included below.


  • Facebook Facebook continually strives toward creating a better work environment for its employees. Facebook allows employees six weeks of paid leave to care for sick children and family members, which benefits women because they are often the ones who take on this role. Facebook also offers four months of paid maternity leave.

  • Apple Apple also offers excellent maternity benefits, including 18 weeks of paid maternity leave and nine weeks of unpaid maternity leave. This is higher than the industry average, which is 11 weeks of paid maternity leave and nine weeks of unpaid maternity leave.

  • Google It is no secret that Google is a trendsetter in the tech community. When it comes to paid maternity leave, they set the bar high. Google offers mothers 22 weeks of paid maternity leave. Parents also receive a cash gift after having a child.

  • SAS SAS offers benefits for both birth and adoptive mothers. SAS employees receive 12 weeks of paid maternity leave and eight weeks of paid adoption leave. SAS believes in providing mothers with time to bond with new children.

What Can be Done?


Now that historical misconceptions have been overturned, it’s time to think about how to get more women involved in computer science and foster a lifelong passion for computer science in young girls.

Getting Started: How Do We Get Young Women Interested in CS?

With the number of women studying computer science near an all-time low, it’s clear that we need to take action, and early childhood education is the root of the problem. According to recent coverage from The Journal, two-thirds of elementary-aged children indicate an interest in science; however, as they enter middle school, the percentage of interested girls falls dramatically. By high school, many girls who previously took advanced scientific courses drop them.

Two-thirds of elementary-aged children indicate an interest in science; however, as they enter middle school, the percentage of interested girls falls dramatically.

STEM ONLINE RESOURCES FOR KIDS

Reasons for the Decline of Girls Studying Computer Science

The above statistics are corroborated in an extended report from Florida Gulf Coast University and The University of Colorado, which theorizes reasons for the drop in female interest. In secondary school, less emphasis is placed on developing computer science skills in girls compared to boys. As a result, women who study STEM-related topics in college often lag behind male counterparts. Furthermore, female students lack role models, as most leaders in the field are men. Historically, scientific fields have catered to men.

While the geek-programmer stereotype has become less popular, there is still a belief that STEM-related professions are narrow, impersonal, and unsuited for those who wish to work on a human level. In reality, computer science careers touch every part of modern human life, and many computer science positions require interpersonal skills.

Ways to Increase Girls’ Interest in Computer Science

Beginning in the mid-1980s, the number of women studying computer science and similar fields fell into decline. In recent years, this number has leveled off between 14% and 18%, establishing a baseline against which to measure new educational initiatives. Some of the ways educators and parents can work to increase girls’ interest in computer science and STEM-related subjects are addressed below.

Create an Equal Learning Environment

While boys tend to be more verbal in class, it’s up to educators to engage female students and bring them into class discussions. This will increase girls’ interest in the subject matter and better prepare them for college-level courses in computer science.

Enact Mentorship Programs

Girls entering the field of computer science are likely to face more resistance than in subject areas more heavily populated by females. Adults can bolster their resolve by providing examples of strong, successful females thriving in their careers. Whether by creating a mentorship program at the secondary or postsecondary level, bringing in speakers, or using female leaders as case studies, educators and parents can instill confidence in girls who pursue careers in historically male-dominated fields.

Redefine the Field

As discussed in the previous section, the number of women in computer science and related degrees dropped sharply in the 1980s in response to male-focused marketing for home computers. In the interim years, women have shifted to subjects typically classified under humanities or liberal arts, as explained by Forbes.

June 2015 Newsweek report featured Harvey Mudd College’s efforts to counter this trend. Rather than pure programming, its introductory computer science course has been reworked to focus on creative problem solving and opportunities within the field. The school also made classes less intimidating by splitting the course into two sections based on incoming students’ prior programming experience. Within four years, the computer science program’s female student rates rose from 10% to 40%, where they plateaued.

Make It Approachable

As the push to encourage more girls’ to work in computer science gains momentum, a number of programs have been created to help foster interest. Some of the most innovative include:

Whether operating at the middle school, high school, or collegiate level, these groups can be pivotal in encouraging and sustaining girls’ pursuit of computer science careers.

Other Opportunities for Engagement


Outside of the organizations mentioned above, there are a number of other initiatives to engage girls in computer science. Whether it’s a competition, summer camp, science fair, massive open online course (MOOC), or government program, the resources below help parents and educators think outside the box when encouraging girls in scientific pursuits.

Competitions and Summer Camps Focused on Computer Science

ProjectCSGirls

This organization hosts a computer science and technology competition in which middle school girls develop a project to solve a social problem, and includes a project mentor.

Technovation

This global technology program emphasizes entrepreneurship. Girls in middle school, high school, or college can compete to create and launch a mobile app during a three-month curriculum. Students are matched with female mentors and get to present their apps to investors via YouTube. Finalists pitch their ideas in Silicon Valley.

Tech Trek

This experiential summer camp created by the American Association of University Women is for middle school girls. The program seeks to make STEM topics both interesting and accessible during the developmental period, where research shows that girls’ interest in these subjects tends to drop the most.

Carnegie Science Center

The Chevron Center for STEM Education and Career Development hosts a number of programs aimed at encouraging girls to pursue STEM topics, including:

  • Tour Your Future: A career exploration program for girls aged 11-17 that seeks to show girls the many diverse STEM careers available.
  • CanTEEN: A resource encouraging girls to consider STEM careers via gaming and online activities.
  • Click! Spy School: Developed for girls aged 10-14 to engage them in solving mysteries and completing missions with key STEM concepts.

GirlStart Summer Camp

This weeklong summer camp is designed to help girls see that STEM subjects can be fun and meaningful, starting at a young age.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in Computer Science

According to a 2013 article from Huffington Post, one of the primary challenges facing STEM is engaging students. Since careers in these industries are not well publicized, students have preconceived notions about the type of work available to computer science graduates. A great way to learn about computer science career options is through MOOCs, which are free, abbreviated online courses that provide introductory curriculum materials to students across the world.

High schools often take advantage of these courses, especially in areas where there are few teachers available. Teachers hope that familiarizing high school students with computer science will encourage them to pursue it in postsecondary programs and careers.

Some of the most interesting computer science MOOCs available include:

Government Programs Focused on CS

The U.S. government has enacted initiatives at local, state, and federal levels to engage girls and young women in STEM-related topics, including computer science. Many states have also created initiatives to engage local middle and high school girls. Some of these innovative programs are listed below.


  • TechGirls Organized by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, this international summer exchange program brings girls from the Middle East and North Africa to America, encouraging them to pursue careers in science and technology.

  • STEM Utah This statewide initiative aims to encourage girls' interest in STEM topics. The website features an online library, contests, and resources for students, parents, educators, and industry professionals.

  • NASA Girl Scout Partnership More than 66% of all astronauts have been involved in scouting, including 27 girl scouts. The administration maintains strong ties with the scouting community and offers varied initiatives to encourage scouts to pursue STEM careers.

Mentoring Programs for Girls in Computer Science

In a 2014 report by STEMConnector, researchers found that 20% of high school girls considering a STEM degree want to learn more about mentorship opportunities and motivational programs, while nearly 40% of women pursuing a scientific degree have a mentor. A 2010 report from the American Association of University women verified those numbers, noting that mentorship is an important tool for instilling confidence in girls pursuing STEM-related fields.

Below is a review of American colleges with the highest percentages of women computer science graduates and takes a deeper look at how their programs attract and retain female students. Parents, educators or students seeking mentorship programs for computer science education or careers can check out the following pioneering initiatives:

The 20 Schools With the Most Women Computer Science Graduates

Methodology

These school rankings are based off the latest data pulled from the Institute of Education Sciences regarding male and female graduates of computer science programs. Only four-year programs were included in the list, and schools with fewer than 50 computer science graduates were removed. We then compared graduation rates for female students in each program with national averages to determine program rankings.

  • 1. Ohio University — Athens, OH

    Available Concentrations

    • Computer Science
    • Electrical Engineering

    Program Highlights

    OU’s computer science department consists of more than 30 PhD-level faculty members with experience in electrical engineering and computer science, and backgrounds ranging from government agencies to industrial facilities. Recent graduates have gone on to work for Microsoft, Amazon, GE, NCR, Boeing and Lexis-Nexis, among others.

    Accolades

    US News & World Report ranks OU’s School of Engineering #140 in the nation.

    • In-State Tuition: $11,548
    • Out-of-State Tuition: $20,512

  • 2. Florida Institute of Technology — Melbourne, FL

    Available Concentrations

    • Computer Science
    • Software Engineering

    Program Highlights

    FIT focuses on ensuring its students graduate with more than just a degree; they leave school with a portfolio that will impress future employers. The school features undergraduate research programs and internships, providing invaluable experience as well as bolstering student resumes. In addition, students can take advantage of networking and career opportunities by joining the FIT chapters of:

    • The Association for Computing Machinery
    • The Association for Women in Computing
    • Upsilon Pi Epsilon

    Accolades

    US News & World Report ranks FIT #40 in the country for its online bachelor’s programs.

    • In-State Tuition: $19,270
    • Out-of-State Tuition: $19,270

  • 3. Saint Leo University — St Leo, FL

    Available Concentrations

    • Computer Science

    Program Highlights

    In addition to coursework at St. Leo, students can participate in innovative internship programs. Those looking for an early graduate degree can undertake the 3+1 BS in Computer Science and MS in Cybersecurity. The department is focused on ensuring graduates have marketable skills, including:

    • Programming
    • Computer forensics
    • Information security
    • Applications
    • Artificial intelligence

    Accolades

    US News & World Report ranks St. Leo #65 among southern universities.

    • Annual Tuition: $20,150

  • 4. Pennsylvania State University — State College, PA

    Available Concentrations

    • Computer Engineering
    • Computer Science

    Program Highlights

    The CS program at PSU is divided into two phases: the first focuses on modern computer concepts such as programming languages and efficient programming. The second phase focuses on data structures, program languages and computing systems in greater detail.

    Accolades

    PSU ranks fifth in the nation for computer science citations within academic papers and ranks eighth in the nation for computer science expenditures.

    • In-State Tuition: $16,572
    • Out-of-State Tuition: $30,404

  • 5. Central Washington University — Ellensburg, WA

    Available Concentrations

    • Computer Science
    • Computer Engineering Technology

    Program Highlights

    Aside from providing cutting edge coursework, CWU is heavily focused on equipping students to enter the workforce quickly and easily. They regularly releases a newsletter to keep students, parents and staff members informed of the latest industry trends and departmental happenings. In addition, they provide:

    • CS-specific scholarships
    • A careers and jobs listing
    • Internship and assistantship opportunities
    • A student club

    Accolades

    US News & World Report ranks CWU #13 among Top Public Universities

    • In-State Tuition:$7,206
    • Out-of-State Tuition:$19,467

  • 6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology — Cambridge, MA

    Available Concentrations

    • Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS)

    Program Highlights

    As the school’s largest department, students studying Computer Science come to MIT for a specific reason: it’s one of the best. The curriculum is known for being both flexible and intensive, preparing students to be successful and competitive in a variety of industries and positions. Faculty and alumni are recognized for significant research contributions in areas of:

    • Artificial intelligence
    • Robotics
    • Cybernetics
    • Cryptography

    Accolades

    US News & World Report ranks MIT #1 in the nation for Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs.

    • Annual Tuition: $46,704

  • 7. University of Washington — Seattle, WA

    Available Concentrations

    • Computer Science
    • Computer Engineering

    Program Highlights

    Many students at UW participate in faculty research, internships, co-ops and focused study abroad trips related to their major. The school is currently creating an additional building to house an ever-expanding student body, with Microsoft contributing $10 million toward the effort.

    Accolades

    The US News & World Report ranks UW’s graduate computer science department as the sixth best in the nation.

    • In-State Tuition: $11,839
    • Out-of-State Tuition: $34,143

  • 8. University of Maryland-University College — Upper Marlboro, MD

    Available Concentrations

    • Cybersecurity
    • Digital Media & Web Technology
    • Information Systems Management
    • Mathematical Science

    Program Highlights

    This degree will prepare students to take both the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and Oracle Certified Java Programmer certifications. The program is also available as a minor.

    • In-State Tuition: $31,920
    • Out-of-State Tuition: $59,880

  • 9. Baker College of Flint — Flint, MI

    Available Concentrations

    • Computer Science
    • Cyber Defense
    • Database Technology
    • Game Software Development
    • Information Systems
    • Information Technology and Security
    • Web Development

    Program Highlights

    The computer science department at Baker is informed by working industry professionals in charge of continuous course material updates. In addition to class-based materials, the department puts heavy emphasis on providing real-world opportunities through hands-on training and educational experiences. Students undertaking Baker’s degree often find themselves working in:

    • Computer software development
    • Internet communications
    • Database administration

    Annual Tuition:$8,100

  • 10. Harvard University — Cambridge, MA

    Available Concentrations

    • Computer Science

    Program Highlights

    The John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University is home to a dynamic computer science department that regularly pushes the boundaries of modern research. Department-wide goals include increasing accessibility to computer science and attracting students from outside the discipline. Primary areas of research include:

    • Theoretical computer science
    • Artificial intelligence
    • Intelligent interfaces
    • Computational linguistics
    • Energy-efficient architectures

    Accolades

    US News and World Report ranks Harvard #2 in the world for Computer Science studies.

    • Annual Tuition: $45,278

  • 11. Syracuse University — Syracuse, NY

    Available Concentrations

    • Computer Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Electrical Engineering
    • Systems and Information Science

    Program Highlights

    Students enrolled in Syracuse’s computer science program benefit from not only a solid foundation in CS principles, but also exposure to new developments and cutting edge technology. The degree is multidisciplinary in nature, allowing students to create an individualized program tailored to their future career aspirations.

    Accolades

    US News & World Report ranks Syracuse #58 among National Universities.

    • Annual Tuition: $41,794

  • 12. Florida State University — Tallahassee, FL

    Available Concentrations

    • BS in Computer Science
    • BA in Computer Science
    • BS in Computational Biology
    • BS in Computer Criminology

    Program Highlights

    Over 600 undergraduates call the computer science department home, taking advantage of scholarships, fellowships, internships and numerous clubs, including the Association for Computing Machinery and Upsilon Pi Epsilon. Professors in FSU’s computer science department are internationally recognized researchers, contributing to significant progress on:

    • Algorithms
    • Databases
    • High-performance computing
    • Networking
    • Programming languages
    • Security

    Accolades

    US News & World Report ranks FSU #95 among National Universities.

    • In-State Tuition: $5,644
    • Out-of-State Tuition: $18,788

  • 13. Texas A & M University-College Station — College Station, TX

    Available Concentrations

    • Computer Science
    • Computer Engineering

    Program Highlights

    Texas A&M’s BS in computer science is based on the curricula recommendations of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineer Computer Society (IEEECS) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). In addition to required coursework, students also take 12 hours of concentrated study outside the department to create a holistic learning experience. Electives are available in a number of areas, including:

    • Algorithms
    • Languages and computability
    • Networking
    • Computer systems and architecture
    • Artificial intelligence
    • Cognitive modeling

    Advanced undergraduates are also eligible to take graduate courses in these areas.

    Accolades

    US News & World Report ranks Texas A&M #68 among National Universities.

    • In-State Tuition: $9,428
    • Out-of-State Tuition: $28,020

  • 14. University of South Carolina-Upstate — Spartanburg, SC

    Available Concentrations

    • Computer Science
    • Computer Information Systems

    Program Highlights

    Focused on creating graduates prepared to fill in-demand regional roles, USC Upstate gives its students hands-on access to the technology powering South Carolina’s industry. The computer science degree gives students a more technical education focusing on preparation for graduate work, while the computer information systems track provides a more business oriented focus. The school partners with major manufacturing corporation to offer students competitive internships, including:

    • BMW
    • Michelin
    • Milliken

    Accolades

    US News and World Report ranked USC Upstate #3 among southern public schools.

    • In-State Tuition: $5,184
    • Out-of-State Tuition: $10,509

  • 15. University of Nevada-Reno — Reno, NV

    Available Concentrations

    • Computer and network systems
    • Games and simulations
    • Intelligent systems
    • Software systems

    Program Highlights

    In 2010, the computer science department at UN Reno reformatted its curriculum to combine its computer science and computer engineering majors into a single degree. Focused on using computer science to solve societal problems, the move allowed them to better address industry demands and create more well-rounded graduates. Student resources include:

    • Academic advising
    • For-credit internships
    • Job placement and networking
    • Student clubs, including Women Into Computer Science and Engineering (WISE)

    Accolades

    US News and World Report ranks UN – Reno #194 among National Universities.

    • In-State Tuition:$3,318
    • Out-of-State Tuition:$6,955

  • 16. University of North Carolina-Asheville — Asheville, NC

    Available Concentrations

    • Computer Systems
    • Information Systems

    Program Highlights

    Emphasizing a passion for learning, ethical conduct and critical thinking, the computer science department at UNC Asheville produces graduates capable of applying their skills across a variety of industries. Students are encouraged to pursue their own research projects; recent examples include:

    • Gnosis Sequencing Device
    • Digital Dog Food
    • Bringing the Broadcaster to the Modern Internet
    • Eye in the Sky: Augmenting Automated Flight with Computer Visions

    Accolades

    US News & World Report ranks UNC Asheville #8 in its Best Undergraduate Teaching list.

    • In-State Tuition: $6,605
    • Out-of-State Tuition: $22,219

  • 17. James Madison University — Harrisonburg, VA

    Available Concentrations

    • Computer Science
    • Robotics
    • Telecommunications

    Program Highlights

    Students in JMU’s computer science department are immersed in a wide spectrum of learning initiatives designed to make them competitive, compassionate professionals. A number of clubs and organizations allow students to work with their peers, developing solutions to real-world problems. Volunteer opportunities to lead boot camps for high school students allow students to give back to the community. Recent graduates have accepted positions at:

    • IBM
    • Verizon
    • Spring
    • GE
    • SAIC
    • Lockheed-Martin

    Accolades

    US News & World Report ranks JMU #2 among Top Public Universities.

    • In-State Tuition: $10,066
    • Out-of-State Tuition: $25,200

  • 18. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill — Chapel Hill, NC

    Available Concentrations

    • BA in Computer Science
    • BS in Computer Science

    Program Highlights

    The computer science department at UNC – Chapel Hill opens the field to a more diverse range of students by offering both a BA and a BS. The BS focuses on developing technical skills applicable to highly specific industry applications and graduate school, while the BA allows students to integrate a broader range of interests into their education. Areas of computer science addressed in the curriculum, include:

    • Web and internet computing
    • Networking
    • Hardware systems
    • Operating systems
    • Compilers
    • Parallel and distributed computing
    • Theory of Computing

    Accolades

    US News and World Report ranks UNC Chapel Hill #30 among National Universities.

    • In-State Tuition: $8,562
    • Out-of-State Tuition: $33,644

  • 19. CUNY Baruch College — New York, NY

    Available Concentrations

    • Business Intelligence
    • Financial IT
    • Information Assurance & IT Auditing
    • Security/Networking
    • Systems Development
    • Apps, Media, and Society

    Program Highlights

    Baruch College has integrated its computer science offerings into its Zicklin School of Business, meaning students will receive a strong business foundation to partner with their technology studies. By concentrating on how CS contributes to business, students will be able to leverage their education into the lucrative corporate market. Graduates will have skills in:

    • e-business
    • Web design
    • Globalization and IT
    • Financial IT
    • Software development

    Accolades

    US News and World Report ranks Baruch College among the Top 25 Public Schools in the North.

    • In-State Tuition: $6,030
    • Out-of-State Tuition: $12,840

  • 20. University of West Florida — Pensacola, FL

    Available Concentrations

    • Computer Information Systems
    • Computer Science
    • Cybersecurity
    • Software Engineering
    • Information Technology

    Program Highlights

    Students at UWF benefit from access to state-of-the-art technology like the ‘Holodeck,’ one of the largest curved projection screens in the world. A student to faculty ratio of 21:1 ensures that students receive individual attention. Graduates have gone on to work for notable companies such as:

    • Microsoft
    • Northrop Grumman
    • Computer Science Corporation
    • General Dynamics
    • Home Depot

    Tuition

    • In-State Tuition: $4,319
    • Out-of-State Tuition: $16,587

Scholarships for Women in Computer Science


  • Graduate Women's Scholarship Program

    Amount:
    $18,000

    OrganzationMicrosoft

    Description

    This one-time scholarship is open to graduate students enrolled full-time in their first year
    of a computer science degree program. Universities must nominate students, and the chair of the
    department must confirm the nomination. An extra $2,000 is awarded for travel and cost of
    attendance at a computer science conference.


  • SWE Scholarship

    Amount:
    Varies by scholarship: $1,000 to $14,500

    OrganzationSociety of Women Engineers

    Description

    This one-time scholarship is open to graduate students enrolled full-time in their first year
    of a computer science degree program accredited by ABET. SWE offers hundreds of scholarships,
    awarding more than $660,000 in awards in 2015 alone. Applicants only need to fill out one
    application and will automatically be considered for all awards they are eligible for.


  • WITS Scholarship

    Amount:
    Up to $2,500

    OrganzationWomen in Technology

    Description

    WITS administers this scholarship, which is sponsored by Visionary Integration Professionals,
    and open to women aspiring to work in computer science or a related field. Female students
    hoping to be competitive must have at least a 3.0 GPA, high levels of participation in community
    service or extracurricular activities, and a thoughtful answer to their annual essay prompt.


  • Scholarship for Women in Engineering

    Amount:
    $1,500-$10,000

    OrganzationPalantir

    Description

    In addition to receiving funding, awardees are also flown to the Bay Area to participate in a
    two-day workshop with other women in the field. This scholarship is open to undergraduate
    females who have completed at least one year of their studies in computer science or a
    STEM-related degree program.


  • The Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship

    Amount:
    $10,000

    OrganzationGoogle

    Description

    Open to female undergraduate or graduate students studying computer science, computer
    engineering or a closely related field, this scholarship champions women who want to
    revolutionize the way we think about technology. In addition to funding, winners will be invited
    to the Google Scholar’s Retreat at their headquarters in California.


  • Women in Technology Scholarship

    Amount:
    $2,500

    OrganzationBuildium

    Description

    This scholarship seeks to encourage the pursuit of scientific and technological education
    amongst female students, helping them to achieve their dreams of working in the field of
    computer science. Winners are selected based on an essay about what inspired them to pursue a
    career in technology.


  • Helion Openstack Scholarship

    Amount:
    $10,000

    OrganzationHP

    Description

    In addition to funding, recipients also receive a mentorship and possible internship. As part
    of the application process, students must develop a project using Openstack technology or Cloud
    Foundry.


  • Women in Science Program

    Amount:
    $60,000

    OrganzationL’Oreal

    Description

    This program is for women who have recently completed a PhD in computer science or a closely
    related field. The goal of the fellowship is to recognize women scientists at critical stages of
    their career.


  • G.I.R.L. Scholarships

    Amount:
    $5,000

    OrganzationDaybreak Games

    Description

    Daybreak offers this scholarship to female computer science students with an interest in video
    game design. In addition to the award, students can also participate in a 10-week paid
    internship at Daybreak’s headquarters in San Diego.


  • Scholarship for Women in Computing

    Amount:
    $1,000

    OrganzationAnn Arbor Area Community Foundation

    Description

    Since 2003, AAACF has been funding women pursuing computer science or technology-related
    degrees in an effort to build more interest in STEM topics. Applicants must have at least two
    semesters of coursework remaining and will be required to complete an essay consisting of three
    questions.


  • CREU Scholarship

    Amount:
    $3,000

    OrganzationComputing Research Association – Women

    Description

    This program is designed to provide stipends to female scientists undertaking research projects
    at their universities. Students will also receive mentorship from CRA-W members throughout their
    project and are encouraged to present their findings at the CREU conference.


  • Scholarships for Women Studying Information Security

    Amount:
    $5,000-$10,000

    OrganzationSWSIS

    Description

    For the last four years, SWSIS has been funding female students studying information security
    and related topics at the undergraduate level. With an investment by HP, the organization is
    expanding the number of recipients for the next award cycle.


  • The Clare Boothe Luce Program

    Amount:
    Varies

    OrganzationThe Henry Luce Foundation

    Description

    This scholarship, which seeks to support women in their undergraduate pursuits, is especially
    focused on students in the most underrepresented STEM fields, including computer science.
    Preference is also given to Catholic institutions.


  • Chuck McLane Scholarship Award

    Amount:
    $10,000

    OrganzationAlcoa

    Description

    This scholarship is open to Girl Scouts who earned a Gold Award for a STEM project and plan to
    pursue a career in a STEM-related field. Graduating high school seniors are eligible to apply.


  • Vanguard Women in Technology Scholarship

    Amount:
    Up to $10,000

    OrganzationArizona State University

    Description

    Open to female undergraduates pursuing a degree related to technology, this scholarship can be
    used for tuition, fees, books and/or supplies. Students in their junior or senior years are
    eligible to apply.


  • STEM Scholarship

    Amount:
    Full or partial tuition for one academic year

    OrganzationGoogle

    Description

    Students pursuing computer science or related STEM programs are able to apply for this
    scholarship, which is awarded to students who demonstrate a passion for technology and
    leadership. The majority of awards are given to women, minority students or students with
    disabilities.


  • Scholars Program

    Amount:
    Up to $10,000

    OrganzationSanDisk

    Description

    Students actively pursuing an education in computer science or engineering are considered for
    the SanDisk scholarship, including those who are graduating high school, completing community
    college or currently enrolled in a four-year program. Students with a demonstrated financial
    need are given preference.


  • Horizon’s Scholarship

    Amount:
    Varies

    OrganzationWomen in Defense

    Description

    Female students pursuing computer science or related degrees with the intention of working in
    national security are considered for this award, provided they are at least in their junior
    year. The scholarship is also open to graduate students.


  • Oracle Scholarship for Excellence in Computer Science

    Amount:
    $8,000

    OrganzationFederation of the Blind

    Description

    Applicants of this scholarship must be pursuing a computer science degree and must be legally
    blind. Selection will be made based on academic excellence, community service and financial
    need.


  • MCWT Foundation Scholarship

    Amount:
    Up to $20,000

    OrganzationMichigan Council of Women in Technology

    Description

    MCWT offers a variety of scholarships, including those open to high school seniors,
    undergraduate and graduate students. The Girls Exploring Together – Information Technology
    scholarship is a four-year award broken into $5,000 annual disbursements.


Career & Support Resources

Career Resources

General Resources

Recommended Reading

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