Research in Higher Education

, Volume 52, Issue 4, pp 349–369 | Cite as

The Role of Living–Learning Programs in Women’s Plans to Attend Graduate School in STEM Fields



This paper examines the role of living–learning (L/L) programs in undergraduate women’s plans to attend graduate school in STEM fields. Using data from the 2004–2007 National Study of Living Learning Programs (NSLLP), the only existing multi-institutional, longitudinal dataset examining L/L program outcomes, the findings show that women’s participation in women-only STEM-focused L/L programs is positively associated with STEM graduate school aspirations, in comparison to residing in co-educational STEM L/L programs, all other L/L programs, and traditional residence halls. Socially supportive residence hall climates and women’s self-assessments as performing better than men in STEM contexts were also positively associated with STEM graduate school plans, while academically supportive residence hall climates and visiting the work setting of a STEM professional held negative relationships with the outcome. Implications are discussed for L/L programs and the utility of women-only programming within coeducational institutions of higher education.


Women in STEM Living–Learning Programs Graduate school aspirations 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Leadership in EducationUniversity of Massachusetts BostonBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Counseling and Personnel ServicesUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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