NEW YORK, May 16, 2019 — Barnard College and Columbia Engineering (Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science) announced today that they have been awarded a six-year grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to fund a program to support the pipeline of women into the field of engineering. The grant will enable Barnard students to obtain their bachelor’s degree from Barnard College and Master’s of Science degree from Columbia Engineering in just five years.

Barnard students can participate in the Columbia Engineering 4+1 Pathway for Accelerated Graduate Study with a variety of options from several undergraduate majors, including biochemistry, chemistry, economics, mathematics, statistics, and physics (and additional pathways currently under discussion). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the STEM-focused high-tech industry represented 9.1% of the job market in 2016. The 4+1 Pathway program offers unique training opportunities for Barnard students from diverse majors to compete for these highly sought-after jobs.

“Barnard and Columbia Engineering are intent on making an impact in the number of women completing their engineering graduate studies,” said President Sian Leah Beilock. “With the Sloan Foundation’s support to launch this innovative program, we seek to encourage women of all backgrounds to explore their interest in engineering and to pursue careers in related academic and professional fields.”

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics found that interest in STEM among women has increased over the past 10 years. However, despite the uptick in interest across many science fields, only 20% of engineering degrees are earned by women at the bachelor’s level, 24% at the master’s level, and 23% at the doctoral level. Underrepresented minorities account for only 2.4% of engineering master’s degrees earned.

“Our goal with this program is to attract highly qualified women into the field of engineering,” said Provost and Dean of the Faculty Linda Bell, who is a co-Principal Investigator on the Sloan grant. “By creating a variety of pathways, we have shaped a broad-based program that will appeal to our very talented Barnard students from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds and training. Together, Barnard and Columbia Engineering will outline the coursework required for each pathway and build a comprehensive structure of cohort activities, intensive advisement, and administrative support to help ensure students’ success.”

“We are truly grateful to have this important grant from the Sloan Foundation, which has shown an unwavering commitment to diversifying and expanding interest in STEM,” said Columbia Engineering Dean Mary Boyce, who is co-Principal Investigator on the grant. “Columbia Engineering is a leader in attracting both undergraduate and graduate women to our program, and is excited to partner with Barnard and the Sloan Foundation to increase the number of women in the engineering pipeline.”

Students will be admitted into the program at the start of their junior year and take courses to prepare them for graduate-level work. Recruitment for the fellowship will begin in the fall of 2019. The third cohort is expected to graduate in 2025.

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About Barnard

Barnard provides a singular educational experience, as a world-renowned college focused on excellence across the arts and sciences, with all the academic resources of Columbia University and the city of New York as an extended classroom. Founded in 1889, Barnard was one of the few colleges in the nation where women could receive the same rigorous and challenging education available to men. Today, Barnard is one of the most selective academic institutions in the country and remains devoted to empowering extraordinary women to become even more exceptional. In 2018, 35 percent of the women who graduated from Barnard were STEM majors. For more information on Barnard College, contact Barnard Media Relations at 212-854-2037 or To learn more, follow Barnard on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

About Columbia Engineering

Columbia Engineering, based in New York City, is one of the top engineering schools in the U.S. and one of the oldest in the nation. Also known as The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School expands knowledge and advances technology through the pioneering research of its more than 220 faculty, while educating undergraduate and graduate students in a collaborative environment to become leaders informed by a firm foundation in engineering. The School’s faculty are at the center of the University’s cross-disciplinary research, contributing to the Data Science Institute, Earth Institute, Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, Precision Medicine Initiative, and the Columbia Nano Initiative. Guided by its strategic vision, “Columbia Engineering for Humanity,” the School aims to translate ideas into innovations that foster a sustainable, healthy, secure, connected, and creative humanity.

About the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant making institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Motors Corporation, the Foundation makes grants in three broad areas: direct support of research in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economics; initiatives to increase the quality and diversity of scientific institutions; and efforts to enhance and deepen public engagement with science and scientists.