Date of Award

Spring 2021

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Daniel Douglas


The under-representation of women in STEM fields is still an existing problem. It is important to study the factors that influence female students’ experiences in STEM fields to help understand the potential structural obstacles that might exist and lead to the under-representation of women in these subjects. This study conducted semi-structured interviews with seven female students who majored in male-denominated, non-male-dominated, and/or non-STEM fields at Trinity College to investigate their experiences with their professors, other students, and the department. Institutional factors (role model of female teachers and course design) and personal factors (support from the professors/advisors and connection with other students) were found to contribute to female Trinity students’ experiences at STEM majors. Because of the disconnected departmental culture, however, female students perceived their experiences as personal, which leads to the conflict between their perception of gender impact on their experiences and their expression of actual experiences in the major. The findings of this research suggest the significance of increasing department-initiated connections between the department and female students to improve their experiences in STEM majors.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford CT for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies.