New data from the National Science Foundation shows that for African Americans who earned doctoral degrees in 2012, the average number of years that they spent from the time they graduated from college to the time they earned their doctorate was 11.9 years. For Whites, the average time span from bachelor’s degree to doctorate was 9 years. In all probability, financial factors have some bearing on the racial gap.
African Americans actually took less time, on average, than White Americans to earn doctorates in education. In the humanities the racial gap was very small.
African Americans took an average of 8.3 years from bachelor’s degree to doctorate in physical science disciplines. This was the shortest time to a doctorate for African Americans in any major discipline. In contrast, for those African Americans who earned doctorates in education, the average time span was 15.3 years.