The percentage of women among the graduate students entering the School of Engineering and Applied Science this fall has reached a record high of 31 percent. Nationally, about 20 percent of graduate students in engineering are women.

“We have reached a critical mass of women graduate students, and we expect that number will only grow in the future,” said Stephen Friedfeld, the school’s associate dean for graduate affairs. He said the fields of civil/environmental and chemical engineering have been most popular among women.

Student groups such as Graduate Women in Science and Engineering, the Graduate Engineering Council, and the Graduate Engineering Ambassadors are one factor that makes Princeton attractive to women graduate students, Friedfeld said: “Women have provided a lot of leadership in our student groups.”

On the undergraduate level, more than 40 percent of the incoming freshman engineering class are women, according to SEAS spokesman Steven Schultz.