The Persisting Racial Gap in Doctoral Degree Awards

nsf1The National Science Foundation recently released its annual report on doctoral degree recipients in the United States. The annual Survey of Earned Doctorates reports that universities in the United States conferred 54,070 doctorates in 2014. Of these, 2,167, or 4 percent, were earned by African Americans. African Americans earned 6.4 percent of all doctoral degrees awarded to U.S. students. Therefore, African Americans earned about one half the number of doctorates that would be the case if racial parity with the U.S. Black population prevailed.

Another 477 doctorates were awarded by U.S. universities to Black students from foreign nations. Doctorates to Blacks from foreign nations increased by 39 percent over the past decade.

The number of doctorates earned by African Americans in 2014 was down slightly from the previous year after two years of gains. But since 2011 the number of African Americans earning doctorates is up 14 percent.

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