The Widening Racial Gap in Bachelor’s Degree Attainments in Some STEM Fields

AIPLogoA new report from the American Institute of Physics finds that during the 2003-to-2013 period, the number of all bachelor’s degrees in the United States that were earned by African Americans increased. But the percentage of all bachelor’s degrees in the physical sciences or engineering that were awarded to Blacks declined.

The trend was most apparent in the field of physics. During the 10-year period, the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in physics in the United States increased by 58 percent. But the number of bachelor’s degrees in physics awarded to African American rose only slightly.

In all engineering fields combined, the number of bachelor’s degrees earned during the study period increased by 29 percent. But the number of bachelor’s degrees earned by Blacks increased by just 10 percent. In chemical engineering, there was a 74 percent overall increase in degrees earned but only a 11 percent increase for African Americans.

The full report, African American Participation Among Bachelor’s in the Physical Sciences and Engineering, may be downloaded by clicking here.

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