One of our most interesting initial observations was how the data contradicted our early hypothesis.  We assumed that graduation rates for men would be significantly higher than for women from UNM's inception.  However, as demonstrated by the first visualization below, the graduation rates for men and women were substantially similar until the late 1940s.  We posit that the passage of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act (the GI Bill) in 1944 increased male enrollment and thereby graduation rates for men late in that decade.

Some of these charts are annotated; hover over the shapes to learn more about the data.  Click on some charts to view larger versions.

Graduation Rates by Sex, University of New Mexico, 1894 to 1959

Graduation Rates by Sex, 1894 to 1959

Detail: Graduation Rates, 1894 to 1924

The graduating class of 1919 was all women. Between 1900 and 1908, more women than men graduated every year. The graduating class of 1896 was all men. The graduating class of 1895 was all women.


Detail: Graduation Rates, 1925 to 1945

The overall number of graduates increased quite a bit over this twenty-year period.  How could you investigate the reasons for this? How could you explore the drop in the number of women graduating between 1934 and 1942?


Bachelor of Arts Awarded, 1903 to 1959

On June 22, 1944 the US Congress passed the Servicemen's Readjustment Act, commonly known as the GI Bill. In 1904, Josephine S. Parsons was the first female to earn a BA from UNM.  She continued to serve the University for many years as an instructor, professor, and University Secretary. On December 7, 1941, the US entered World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The US Stock Market crashed on October 29, 1929; by 1933, half of US banks had failed, and unemployment was close to 30%. The 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote, was ratified on August 18, 1920. The US entered World War I on April 6, 1917.


Master of Arts Awarded, 1917 to 1959

No master's degrees were granted in 1918 through 1924.  Cora Nelle Freeman was the first woman to earn an MA, in 1925.  Click to view her psychology thesis.


Doctor of Philosophy Awarded, 1941 to 1959

UNM's first PhD was awarded to Joaquin Ortega, in Literature, in 1941. Winfred Buskirk earned a doctorate in Anthropology in 1949.  Click to view Buskirk's dissertation.  How could you find out more about this person? Marie Pope Wallis was the first woman to earn a doctorate from UNM, in 1947.  View her bio in this exhibit, or click to see her dissertation, Erna Fergusson received an honorary doctorate in 1943.  Click to view her bio in this exhibit. Jaime Torres Bodet received an honorary doctorate in 1944.  How could you find out more about this person?


Popular Majors for Women, 1898 to 1959

Total graduates:  242 Total graduates:  251 Total graduates:  319 Total graduates:  346 Total graduates:  507


Popular Majors for Men, 1898 to 1959

Total graduates:  386 Total graduates:  402 Total graduates:  515 Total graduates:  553 Total graduates:  612

For More Information

UNM's Office of Institutional Analytics has interactive data visualizations for degrees conferred in recent years (as well as statistics on enrollment, financial aid, and faculty & staff) on their web page.